In a tropical country like India that usually sees heat and humidity for the major part of the year, winter is a welcome season. However, the cold season is pecked with many maladies too. Most adults and children suffer from cold, cough, sore throat and flu-like symptoms.
Here is my list of 7 winter superfoods in India that will help build immunity and keep you and your kids away from winter sicknesses:
Turmeric: Turmeric is herb and spice that is a staple in any Indian home. We use it liberally in cooking. Turmeric helps in keeping viral infections away and also helps in rheumatoid arthritis and joint pains that flare up in winter.
In the winter, make use of the fresh turmeric roots. Make a fresh pickle out of mango ginger and fresh turmeric roots, lemon, green chilies and salt. Mix it well and store in a glass container. Have a little with your daily meals.
Tulsi (Holy Basil): Tulsi is more or less found in every Indian home. Consumption of Tulsi leaves build immunity and keeps away cold, cough and fever. Boil tulsi leaves in water, and drink that water or use it as herbal tea. Tulsi helps a lot in asthma too.
Please note not to chew tulsi leaves as it erodes the tooth enamel. Keep the leaves at the back of your mouth and slowly with your gums exert pressure to release the juices. Or have it as tulsi tea.
Amla (Indian Gooseberry): You cannot ignore these pale green fruits that flood the vegetable markets in the winter. Amla actually translates to ‘nectar of life’. It is rich in vitamin C, it has eight times more vitamin C than an orange. It helps fight the common cold, helps in digestion and builds immunity. It is also good for hair and skin, and the eyesight. You can consume it by pickling it in salt and turmeric water, or grating it with ginger and having it as a dried after-meal mouth freshener or making amla murabba. I use amla in vegetable juice.
Cinnamon: Add cinnamon in your tea, and you will find your tea tasting sweet, even without sugar. Apart from its robust flavour, it also treats cold and cough, settles stomach and boosts metabolism. Add cinnamon in your tea or have a teaspoon of ground cinnamon first thing in the morning with warm water. It helps in weight loss too.
Ginger: Ginger helps in digestion and relieves gas trapped in the digestive tract. It reduces inflammation. No wonder Indians love ginger tea. Add ginger in your meals, cookies, pickle or boil ginger in water and sip it while it is warm.
Garlic: It may be pungent smelling, but its benefits are many. It boosts the immune system and keeps cold and flu away. It keeps lungs healthy, improves your heart function and reduces inflammation of joints. Add garlic generously in your dals, subjis and chutneys. In the winter, make sure to use green garlic. I use it in methi theplas and also to garnish dals.
Ghee: How can our list be complete without mentioning the superfood Ghee. Ghee is a fat-soluble food and rich in vitamin A, D, E and K. It is good for digestion, keeps skin moisturized and lubricates joints. Apply ghee on rotis or put a dollop of ghee on rice and khichdis, and temper dals with ghee. In the winter months, indulge in ghee by making gaund ka ladoo, besan ka ladoo or gajar and moong ki dal ka halwa.
Enjoy these 7 winter superfoods in India to keep you sickness-free.