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1468 Welcome-The-Winter

Welcome The Winter

Welcome The Winter

Winter is for cosying up at home with soups, wines and hot snacks. Learn to eat sensibly this winter to avoid weight gain.

Packing A Punch

Eat complex carbs: Whole grains, oats, bran-eat them to replenish your depleting serotonin (the "feel-good" brain chemical) supply.
Go for seasonal: Cauliflower, broccoli, red, yellow and green peppers and citrus fruits add a serious nutrition punch. Chop them for yummy soups with a piece of chicken for stock, or sauté them for a Thai stir fry!

Take Vitamin C & D supplements: Vitamin D can reduce the risk of colon, breast, and ovarian cancers. Vitamin D can be found in fortified dairy products, fatty fish, and egg yolks.

Check weight: Go for snacks instead of a meal, eat smaller servings, skip large party dinners and have a soup instead, and switch to wine rather than hard liquor or beer! You'll never gain weight in the winter.

Yummy Winter Recipes

Vegetable soup: Chop cauliflower, carrots, cabbage, broccoli, beans and cook in the pressure cooker with two-three cups of water. Turn off the heat after one whistle and allow to cool down. Stir fry onions in one tablespoon olive oil, add herbs, and you have a yummy broth. You can add a piece of chicken when pressure cooking. Add salt and Tabasco to taste.

Beans & pasta bake: This need not be fattening. Boil rajma and your choice of pasta separately. Toss them together in olive oil, add skimmed milk white sauce and grill in oven till the top is golden brown. It's healthy (make sure the pasta is wheat), full of protein (rajma) and your kids will love you!

Crudites: You've seen these in most bars.Cut up fresh, crisp root veggies like celery, carrots and radish and place them attractively in a glass. Make a dip with hung yoghurt, garlic (antioxidant, heart protective) and mustard. And dig in!

Herbal tea: This is easy. Drop a few leaves of mint, coriander and curry leaves in a mug, and pour hot water on top. Cover it and leave it for five minutes. And enjoy. It's yummy, and nutritious.

North India is seeing an earlier-than-usual dark, depressing winter. The sky is cloudy and the weather forecast gloomy. Elsewhere, too, with prolonged and heavy rains in many parts of the country, the winter is expected to be long and severe. And what better way to combat the blues than to reach for the nuts, bhajias, hot samosas and melting chocolate doughnuts, right?

People with high blood pressure and heart problems need to be more careful in winters. When you feel cold, your blood vessels narrow.

Wrong! Unless you want a paunch and health complications, make sure you grab nutritious food. And yes, you can make them tasty too (see box: Yummy Winter Recipes).

People with high blood pressure and heart problems need to be more careful in winters. When you feel cold, your blood vessels narrow. This is an automatic response by the body. Cutting down of the blood flow to the skin helps the body reduce heat loss. But if your arteries are already filled with plaque (and you may not know this), the blood flow might get completely blocked, triggering a heart attack. The narrowing of blood vessels also increases blood pressure and strain on a diseased heart.

So wear warm clothes. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates, fibre and good fats help in stocking up the right antioxidants and nutrients to keep you healthy and combat coughs and colds. Opt for seasonal produce as opposed to summer vegetables and fruit.

Keep Your Weight Down

Easier said than done. But rather than making New Year Resolutions to lose the weight gained in festive and winter binges, it is easier to just keep it off. Replace creamy coffees with herbal and green teas that raise your metabolism. Broths and soups minus creams and white flour help in keeping you full and fill you up with nutrition. And while it may be tough to push yourself for exercise, you can heat the room and do spot-walking in front of the TV for 30 minutes four days a week.

Keep The Deficiencies Out

Shortage of daylight in winter can worsen mood disorders, increase risk of depression, and even affect the heart. You can have a deficiency of Vitamin D when sunlight becomes scarce. Also, the body depletes Vitamin C faster (which is why you are prone to more allergies and colds). Both these deficiencies can increase the risk of a heart attack for people with hypertension and heart disorders. Studies have found that heart patients have lower levels of Vitamin D than healthy people. Loading up on this through natural foods (fresh oranges, oily fish, strawberries, eggs) as well as a Vitamin D supplement should go a long way in keeping your deficiencies at bay.

So bite into something nutritious this winter, and you may surprise yourself by still being fit when it's time to hit the beach!

Reproduced from Outlook Business's Wellness Column by Rachna Chhachhi


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