Winter is coming! The wind has started to cool off and the nights are coming early. No matter how badly we want to snuggle up in a blanket and get a few extra minutes of sleep, it’s time to take care of our body and mind. As much as it is important to cover ourselves with woolen clothes to keep our body warm from the cold, it is necessary to keep our body nourished from within.
Although the change in temperature is pleasant, it can lead to seasonal infections, especially in young children, the elderly and people with low immunity. Read on to find out what precautions can be taken to keep your body warm, boost your immunity, and protect yourself from these infections.
Health precautions to take in winter:
Feeling sluggish and depressed is completely normal in cold, freezing weather. Apart from this, skin problems like dry skin, joint pain and seasonal infections like cough, cold and flu are likely to affect your body. Therefore, it is important to protect your body from the cold and to stay healthy throughout the season.
Here are some actions you can take:
- Regular exercise: Working out for at least 15 minutes a day can aid in healthy blood circulation which keeps the body warm and tension free.
- Get enough sun exposure: Try soaking in early morning sunlight for the extra dose of vitamin D. This helps fight bacteria that weaken the immune system.
- Layer your clothes to stay warm: Depending on the ambient temperature, wear extra layers of clothing to keep your body warm.
- Protect your joints: The cold can weaken your joints and make it difficult to get out of bed. Slowly the body will stiffen up and it will be harder for you to walk or do things that require physical effort. Therefore, apply painkillers or warm oil to your joints for their proper functioning.
- To take pills : Regular consumption of multivitamins can help keep the body strong and fight bad bacteria. Other than that, in case you start feeling depressed, see a doctor and take some medicine before things get worse.
- Maintain hygiene: It should be noted that poor hygiene is a home that harbors bad bacteria. Therefore, it is important to keep your environment clean and bacteria-free.
- Moisturize frequently: While taking care of the body from the inside, don’t forget about the skin. The cold strips moisture from the skin and leaves it dry. Therefore, it is important to apply moisturizer frequently to maintain skin health.
- Maintain hydration: To regain moisture in the skin, it is important that nourishment comes from both the inside and the outside. While moisturizers can help you on the outside, drinking enough water can help you stay hydrated on the inside.
Winter delights that help the body stay healthy:
There is a reason why certain vegetables grow in a specific season. Consuming more vegetables that are in season as well as citrus fruits and leafy greens will help the body stay strong as the temperature drops. In addition to this, add herbs like ginger, tulsi, and garlic to the diet. These herbs are known to keep immunity strong, warm the body and prevent inflammation.
Include these winter superfoods in your diet:
These citric fruits are abundantly available in winter. Rich in vitamin C, it helps boost immunity and improves digestion. It also improves parent and hair health.
One of the most popular Indian sesame dishes is chhikki, which is made by combining these small seeds with jaggery and a bit of ghee (optional). Sesame seeds are rich in fiber, vegetable protein, vitamins and other nutrients and help keep you warm during winters. It helps in blood cell development, reduces inflammation, lowers blood pressure and supports bone health.
Root vegetables are those that grow below the surface, such as radishes, purple yams, carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes. They are known to give heat to the body because their digestion is slower and helps generate more heat.
If you crave sweet, try switching to jaggery. It is a healthy alternative to sugar. If consumed with a little ghee, it helps keep the body warm and prevent winter illnesses.
Dates are an excellent diet food for those looking to lose weight. Due to its low fat content, it helps maintain a healthy weight. They are rich in nutrients and should be eaten regularly to keep your body warm during the winter.
Bajra is rich in fat, protein and fiber. This small variety of millet has a high concentration of iron which helps in the treatment of anemia. It strengthens your bones if consumed regularly.
Desi Ghee is very beneficial and antibacterial. It is the most easily digestible fat that provides the body with much needed heat during the winter season. Therefore, in this festive season, do not avoid sweets made from clarified butter.
Dried fruits like almonds, walnuts, raisins, and cashews are loaded with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids. They are also known to cure anemia and other vitamin deficiency disorders.
Tulsi leaves are known to boost immunity due to the presence of antioxidants and micronutrients. The medicinal properties of tulsi help the body fight cold-borne illnesses like coughs, colds, sinuses, and other respiratory problems.