Winter is in swing and this is the time of the year where blankets become our best friends for all the lazy days and nights. Have you ever thought about it as what happens especially during this season? During winters (cold weather), the blood vessels get constricted, which restricts the flow of blood thereby the heart works harder to pump blood around the body. As a result, the blood pressure and heart rate increases and the blood circulation slow-down. This leads to a drop in body temperature and causes one to start feeling cold. To overcome the seasonal effects, there are certain vegetables that helps you keep warm and are available in abundance.
1. Fenugreek leaves
Consuming fenugreek leaves in this season will give provide you warmth because the leaves contain iron, protein, folic acid, potassium, fibre,vitamins A, B, B3, C and E and phytoestrogen.
Health benefits of fenugreek:
- It helps expecting and new mothers maintain folic acid and iron levels during pregnancy and lactating period and acts as a galactagogue.
- It reduces treats hormonal, menstrual pain, and reproductive disorders.
- It helps in controlling heart disease and diabetes, since it reduces the cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- It is also used in treating skin problems, bronchitis, cholesterol, kidney problems, gastrointestinal inflammation, arthritis, asthma, and sore throats.
- Dishes you can make from fenugreek: Methikaparatha, methikisabji, methimalai mutter,methiwalidal,methithepla,methikhakra, methimuthiya andmethipapdi.
2. Mustard leaves
Mustard greens are low in calories, and provide an excellent source of vitaminC, E, K, B1, B2, B6, folic acid and minerals like potassium,manganese, calcium, protein, copper, magnesium, and iron.
Health benefits of mustard:
- It is high on antioxidants and protects one from cancer.
- Helps to protect against heart diseases and increases bone health.
- Rich in fiber, thereby aiding in bowel movements and keeping away constipation.
- Helpful for women during pregnancy and menopause.
- It helps in preventing anaemia,arthritis, andosteoporosis.
- Dishes you can make from mustard: Sarson ka saag,soups and stews, mustard chicken, bacon with mustard,mustard fish, and mustarddry vegetable.
Spinach is another superfood good for health during this cold and dry weather that is loaded with vitamin A, C, E, K, minerals,iron, folic acid, and low in calories
Health benefits of spinach:
- Strengthens your bone.
- It helps to maintain blood sugar levels, blood pressure, and prevents cancer.
- Helps to combat iron deficiency.
- Help to prevents constipation.
- Beneficial for pregnant women.
Dishes you can make from spinach: Spinach soup, palak ka paratha, spinach omelette,palakkepakode, dalpalak, palak paneer, palakraita, hara-bharakabab.
Carrots contains good amount of nutrients, such as vitamins A, B, B2, B3, C, D, E and K and fibre. It is a super-superfood all year around.
Health benefits of carrots:
- Improves eyesight since it contains carotene.
- Prevents diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
- It is good for maintaining hair, skin, and nails.
- Regulates menstrual flow.
- It can be used in treating obesity.
Dishes you can make from carrots: gajjarkahalwa, raita, soup, salad, carrot uttapam, carrot smoothie, carrot dates cake, carrot-beetroot kheerand boiled carrot sticks for kids.
5. Green peas
Green peas belong to the leguminous familyand are one of the most nourishing vegetables that contain minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and are rich inantioxidants.
Health benefits of peas:
- It lowers cholesterol levels.
- It helps to maintain blood sugar levels.
- Contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Helps in weight management as they are low in calories and high in fiber content.
Dishes you can make from peas: Aloo mutter, peas pulao, mutter paneer, mutter kikachori, mutter keparathe,mutter Poha, mutter mushroom and vegetable stew.
Beetroot is another vegetable that are a great source of vitamin C and B9, iron, manganese, potassium, and fibre. Ithas a variety of unique health-boosting nutrients.
Health benefits of beetroot:
- It helps in liver detox.
- Controls the possibility of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
- Helps increase white blood cells and fights inflammation.
- Boosts the immunity.
Dishes you can make from beetroot: Beetroot ka halwa, beetroot-carrot kheer, beetroot puri, beetroot salad, abc juice aka apple beetroot carrot juice, beetroot kebabs, beetroot raita and beetroot paratha.
7. Green garlic
Green garlic is a good source of phosphorous, calcium, selenium, vitamins B6 and C and manganese. Garlic’s natural heat helps in keeping the body warm. Green garlic is another member from the onion family that are rich in sulphur, which helps in improving the digestion of amino acids and has purifying qualities.
Health benefits of green garlic:
- Improves blood circulation, eliminates toxins thereby improving digestion.
- Helps in breast milk stimulation.
- Garlic pod can also be applied externally to reduce swelling.
- Prevents cold and flu.
- Acts as an antibiotic, when administered both internally and externally on an open wound.
Dishes you can make from green garlic: Garlic chutney, garlic pickle, lilva rice, green garlic broth, garlic tadka added in soups, dals, vegetables, garlic chicken, garlic sauce and garlic dip.
These vegetables are available in the winters in abundance and are affordable too. They are the gifts from nature to improve our immunity that will help you stay warm and healthy.