In winters, there are certain seasonal foods that help in increasing immunity by preventing allergies leading to cough and cold. These winter foods warm up our bodies due to their hot nature and thus we feel less cold. We will discuss in detail about these foods and how to remain healthy, fit and energetic in chilly weather.

  1. Firstly, as the winter starts, our water intake decreases and intake of tea, coffee increases. We all like to enjoy a hot steaming cup of tea or coffee in a chilly weather. But we have to maintain our water intake to 2.5-3 litres even in winters, and tea, coffee, not more than 2 cups a day because caffeine in tea, coffee dehydrate our body. We can replace these caffeinated drinks with herbal teas, healthy soups, kadhas etc.

2. Secondly, lots of green leafy vegetables are available in winters that are only available in winters like Mustard leaves (sarson ka saag), spinach (palak), amaranth leaves (chaulai), raddish leaves (mooli ke patte), fenugreek leaves (methi) etc. All these vegetables increase immunity as they are rich in Vit. A and Vit. C. Specially include green garlic in your diet as it is available only in winters. It is immunity booster and anti-inflammatory. It is especially good for those people who have burning sensation in their feet and hands. You can add it in tadka of your vegetables, pulses (dals) or you can make chutneys and pickles of green garlic.

3. Thirdly, include millets that are available in winters in your diet like Sorghum (jowar), Pearl millet (bajra) etc. These millets are rich in calcium and iron, thus ensures good skin and good hair. These millets are ideal post lactation food. Specially include bajra in your daily diet in winters. In earlier times, specially in northern India, moth bajra khichdi used to be staple diet of winters. But now intake of millets has decreased. Bajra is rich in protein, fibre and iron. It helps in preventing anaemia and strengthening bones.

4. Always include fresh, local and seasonal fruits in diet in winters also like orange, mandarin (kinnow), guava, sapota (chikoo), grapes etc. Don’t go for imported fruits. Citrus fruits are rich in Vitamin C, thus they are good for skin, help fight cold, control cholesterol. Folate in citrus fruits prevents anaemia.

5. In winters, lots of root vegetables are available like sweet potato (shakarkandi), kachalu etc. They are good pre-biotics ie food for good micro-organisms. Sweet potato is rich in fibre, Vit. A and Vit. C, thus it cures constipation, increases immunity and reduces inflammation.

6. Gond should also be included in daily diet in winters as it lubricates joints, strengthen bones, relieves joint pains, improves digestion and improves sex drive. It is an essential component of post-delivery panjiris. Gond can be made into laddoos.

7. Nuts like almonds, cashewnuts, peanuts etc. should be included in daily diet in winters. These nuts contain essential fats that enhances Vit. D absorption. These nuts can be roasted and eaten as such. Roasted peanuts can also be made into chutneys.

8. Another superfood of winters is home made white butter. It is excellent for bones and joints. It also plays a role in strengthening the joints. Do include it in your daily diet. It is excellent for people who spend a lot of time on screen like people who are doing work from home and kids who spend a lot of time in online classes.

9. Another important food to keep your body warm in winters is sesame seeds (til). Sesame seeds are rich in Vitamin E, calcium, iron, essential fatty acids. They are good for hair, skin, nails and heart health. Sesame seeds work great for respiratory disorders and boosts bone health. These can be made into gachaks, rewris, bhugga, laddoos, chutneys, gravies, dips etc.

10. Honey also keeps body warm, also fights infections and viruses. It can be added in turmeric latte (haldi wala doodh), smoothies, juices, dressings, fruits etc. But make sure it is organic.

11. Another food that keep the body warm in winters is garlic. Garlic is anti-bacterial and anti-viral in nature. It can be taken early morning empty stomach in chopped form with lemon water. It can be added in vegetables, herbal teas etc.

12. Sonth is another food that is hot in nature. Sonth is dry ginger powder. It prevents cold and cough. It contains bio-active molecules that increases immunity. Sonth can be added to laddoos, tea, vegetables, haldi wala doodh etc.

13. Pinnis are also a superfood to be relished in winters. But not the regular atta-cheeni-ghee pinni. Healthy modifications should be done. Wheat flour should be replaced with healthy options like oats flour, bajra flour, roasted chana flour etc. Sugar should be replaced with jaggery, dates or honey. But always remember, Moderation is the key.

Include these super foods in your daily diet this winter and boosts your immunity. Stay warm, stay healthy, stay happy.

For customized and individualized diet plan, contact:

Neena’s Diet Clinic

Dietician Neena


Course in low FODMAP diet for IBS from Monash University, Australia

Life member of IDA

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