Winter is such a relief after the blazing summers. Everyone could do with a little bit of cool breeze after the scorching summer sun. But, when it gets too cold, your body begins to slow down its metabolism in an attempt to keep you warm from within.
Slow metabolism means that fat is not burned as fast. So, you will see yourself gaining inch after inch if you are not following a strict workout regime and diet.
Nevertheless, there’s a good news. There are some foods that keep the body’s internal temperature high naturally by boosting metabolism. They are perfect for you to stay in shape and help you stay cozy when winters’ get too cold.
Here are the top 5 desi foods that you should make sure you have in your kitchen this winter:
1. Amaranth – Grains such as bajra and Amaranth are known for keeping the body nice and warm. The best way to enjoy Amaranth is to make a pudding with milk and topping it with some winter berries and a dash of honey. You can even cook it like rice and eat it as a replacement. These grains have an added benefit. They keep you from feeling lazy and sluggish during the winters. They give you a constant source of energy as they are digested slowly to release energy in the process
2. Clarified Butter – The body needs to burn fat to produce heat within the body. The best and most easily digestible of all fats is clarified butter. This is one of the best options to keep the body’s heat in balance during the winters. It is used in most of our cooking and can even be added over rice and dal to improve flavor. What is best about clarified butter is that it keeps you immune from the common issues that you face during winters, namely flu and cold. Clarified butter prevents the chances of any constipation and also works wonders when it comes to getting rid of all the body’s toxins. If you have a sore throat, just fry some onions in clarified butter and consume it. It is extremely soothing and also prevents the chances of any infections in the future.
3. Ginger – Ginger is easily the most popular thermogenic foods that is used in India. It is used to make tea that makes you feel toasty when the temperatures drop too low. It is a common remedy for any winter ailment such as cold or cough. The reason why ginger is so popular is that it has a slight pungent taste to begin with. So, the moment you sip some tea with ginger or bite into a raw root, you feel the heat surging down your throat. It is also one of the easiest and most commonly available ingredients in an Indian kitchen. Ginger has several medicinal properties. You need to consume it more often during winters because it boosts metabolism quite a bit. It is also very useful in improving the flow of blood through the body. While the former is useful in maintaining the internal body temperature, the latter makes sure that you do not end up feeling lazy and sluggish all day. Just add a few pieces of chopped ginger to regular cooking. Or, you can brew a nice hot tea that is ideal for the winter months.
4. Turnip – Turnip boosts your body with the energy that it needs to stay warm during winters. You can even choose other root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, radish or yams as they are just as useful in elevating the internal temperature of the body. These roots are loaded with carbohydrates that digest very slowly. This slow digestion is the reason why they are able to keep the body warm. As the body is continuously at work, it keeps burning up calories to produce heat and energy. The best way to consume turnip is to make a nice hot stew that goes perfectly with rice or roti. They are also perfect for salads. You can chop them up and mix them with a few leafy greens to make a cozy winter salad. Throw in some dry fruits to enhance the taste and to get that dose of energy that is much needed on the gloomy winter days.
5 . Sesame Seeds – You must have often been warned by the elders in your home that sesame seeds can lead to acne when consumed in large quantities. This is because, they have the inherent property of increasing the body temperature almost immediately after they are consumed. However, when you need to keep the body temperature up during the cold months, there is no better option than sesame seeds. They are used in halwas and chikkis that are made especially for the winter months. You can also eat a few seeds raw when you want to get the internal temperature up. These seeds have several other benefits as well. They are loaded with calcium and iron. The best thing to do would be to soak a few seeds overnight and eat them in the morning. Another popular choice is to eat a few sesame seeds with some jaggery every morning when the winters’ gets harsh and cold. They also are a rich source of healthy fats that keep the skin from getting too dry. If you cannot eat the seeds raw, you also have the option of switching to the option of switching to sesame oil for a few months when winter sets in. The food tastes just as great and you also reap the benefits of its thermogenic properties.
To get recipes’, visit Hales’ Kitchen.
These foods are easy to use and are quite common in Indian cooking. So you will be able to find several recipes that incorporate them to make yummy winter dishes that go perfectly with the weather.
This article is in association with Diet and Yoga Clinic, Kanpur.