Do you know why your body feels dull & sluggish during winters; why you find it extremely hard, not only to get out of bed in the morning but also to stay wide awake throughout the day? Well, there’s pure science behind this, let’s call it, winter tiredness, shall we?
Most of us refrain from stepping out when it’s cold and chilly. Even when we do, we wrap ourselves in layers of scarves and sweaters to stay warm. What we forget is that our skin needs some sun to stay warm, and that’s exactly what keeps us energetic all day long. Our bodies are biologically designed to relate darkness to sleep, which is why staying in and staying warm is only making us lethargic.
This is where Indian foods play a significant role in keeping the body naturally warm, active, and energetic, thus making it easy for you to kiss your winter tiredness goodbye!
Common Indian Foods That’ll Keep You Warm in Winter
The body uses extra energy to stay warm during winter, which is why it is essential to consume certain foods that will give it the fuel it requires to keep functioning in this cold weather. Here are some easily available and delicious Indian foods that will ease you through the chilly months.
Desi Ghee or clarified butter is an Indian food that has successfully made its way to the top of the super-food list! Even the west is waking up to the wonders of ghee. It’s the least messy food you can consume to stay warm during winter. Because of its fat content, just one teaspoon of ghee every morning is enough to keep your body warm from the inside. But make sure you consume ghee made from cow’s milk, which has less fat compared to that made from buffalo milk, is a powerhouse of health benefits, and naturally nourishes the skin during winter.
2. Dried fruits & Nuts
Rich in essential oils, vitamins and minerals, dried fruits help keep the skin supple and nourished during winter. Almonds are known to produce heat in the body, something the body is looking for when it’s cold outside. They also aid digestion, thus boosting metabolism, which of course, keeps the body warm. Rich in vitamin B-3, peanuts kick start the metabolism and promote blood flow. Plus, they come with the added benefit of combating cold and flu, which makes their consumption even more beneficial during winter.
Ginger is one root that is known to induce heat in the body since ages. It boosts the immune & digestive systems and increases the blood circulation in the body. Even though you’d prefer to add this root to your soups and hot beverages during winters, it works best when consumed raw. You’re already planning to skip out on this one because you just can’t picture yourself chewing ginger first thing in the morning, isn’t it? Worry not! Ginger tea is a great substitute to make this root edible. Simply brew grated or chopped ginger in boiling water, strain and enjoy with a teaspoon of honey.
4. Holy Basil
You rarely have to go hunting for tulsi; almost every Indian household has this sacred herb in their backyard. Apart from being an antiseptic, holy basil is also rich in vitamins A, C, iron and also helps combat respiratory disorders. It helps the body fight cold and flu, which tend to widespread when the temperature dips. It keeps the body warm by flushing out its toxins and boosting metabolism. Tulsi tea is the best beverage you can consume if you’re looking to deal with those winter woes.
5. Spices – Pepper, Turmeric, Cinnamon
People around the world are well-versed with the benefits of Indian spices. Yet, certain specific spices keep the body warm during winter.
- Pepper for instance; the body naturally produces heat when it digests pepper. You can easily add this spice to soups and salads that you consume on a daily basis
- Cinnamon fits perfectly into the list of winter spices, and it’s not just to spice up your biryani. Research proves that cinnamon helps retain and increase body temperature during the chilly months. Add this spice to a nice hot cup of coffee or oatmeal in the morning, and it’ll keep your warm naturally
- Turmeric is another medicinal herb that is best suited for winter. The presence of curcumin in turmeric is what makes it ideal for the chilly months. The body releases a lot of energy while digesting curcumin, which helps keep it warm. The best way to consume this spice is to mix it with a glass of warm milk and drink it in the morning
6. Sesame seeds
Be it chikkis, sweet balls or gajaks, sesame is an essential part of winter in India. This is because sesame seeds are rich in iron and calcium and help maintain the body temperature. Irrespective of their form – seeds, oil, or tahini, you should definitely stock up on sesame to stay warm and cosy during winter.
Finally, food on the list for the spice-lovers. Ever wonder why you break a sweat after consuming hot pepper? It’s because of the presence of capsaicin, a compound present in chillies that speeds up the metabolism, thus keeping the body warm. It also aids digestion and boosts blood circulation. Yeah, spice is great, but you need not consume peppers that are too hot for the body. Indian red & green chillies will do the job for you!
Also known as unrefined sugar, jaggery is an Indian food that should be consumed during winter. The body needs heat to stay warm, heat that it gets from the calories in the food that we consume. Jaggery has as many calories as sugar, which is enough to keep the body warm during the chilly months. It also helps dilate the blood vessels, which in turn produces heat in the body.
Apart from being a healthy substitute for sugar, honey is also warm in nature, which is why it’s advised to avoid honey during summers. But during winter, a teaspoon of honey can be your best pal. Its naturally warm nature helps keep the body warm, and also keeps cold, cough and flu at bay. Mix honey with some warm water and have it every morning for best results.
So there you have it, a list of easily accessible and super healthy Indian foods that will keep you warm during winter. Stock up on these foods to ease out on your winter months. They work wonders in keeping the body warm from the inside so that you’re nice and cosy when it’s freezing outside!