By Paras Sharma
As the winter sets in, we get ready to face it with room heaters, warm clothes, geysers. But all these external factors only help if our immune system is strong. This winter let’s get our kids and ourselves strong from within and keep all those winter blues at bay. Boost your immune system by these simple habits and add this super food to your family’s diet.
For the little ones
Kids are an easy target in winters as they are most prone to catching diseases. We have some quick and easy hacks to save your kids from winter ailments.
- Steam the bathroom before your kids hop in for a shower, so that the bathroom is warm and cosy for them.
- Offer warm water with a little honey and lemon or add some ginger juice in honey and give your kids a spoon full of this daily. All these ingredients have medicinal properties which are a boon to fight back cold and flu.
- Give them a sufficient amount of vitamin D, since during the cold weather, bones tend to get stiff. As there is no adequate sunlight, one can consider giving a vitamin D tablet after consulting a doctor, apart from other dairy products to their kids.
- Just as it is for adults, omega 3 fatty acids are amazing for kids as well. It helps boost their immune system and help them to keep all diseases at bay.
- Wash your kid’s nostrils with saline water, which is easily available at any pharmacy. Try to do this while they take a warm shower so that the steam adds to the benefits. This will help rinse out any virus or congestion.
Reduce your carbs
The cold season tends to raise the cravings for more carbs and comfort foods, for kids as well as adults. This happens because once you consume these delicious treats, your body releases a hormone called serotonin, making your brain think that you are happier. And as the day passes, your carb cravings get stronger and stronger.
To counter this, try eating a protein-rich breakfast to keep your energy levels up throughout the day. If by afternoon, you are still craving sweets or carbs, be sure to consume low-fat and healthy snacks on hand.
Add Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are a healthy type of fat that is naturally found in a variety of foods including fish, plant seeds and nuts. Omega 3 fatty acids are great for reducing joint pain as they have natural anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps reduce depression. They are a perfect super food for winters.
Eat more fibre
Fibres found in apples, oats, and nuts are important to decrease inflammation and boost the immune system. A fibre-rich diet helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and helps overcome weight loss and protects against diabetes. It’s a good idea to introduce kids to these as early as possible.
Get nutty this winter
We all think that consuming nuts can lead to weight gain. But, nuts are rich in many essential nutrients. Some of the best nuts and seeds for winters are:
ALMONDS: Almonds protect the body against respiratory disorders, and coughs in winters, so make these a part of your child’s daily diet. Almonds protect against cardiovascular disease, bad cholesterol, and control diabetes, while boosting energy. Almonds help in keeping our skin and hair healthy in dry winters as they contain biotin.
WALNUTS: Walnuts are the richest source of antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids. The most essential benefit of eating walnuts is that it reduces bad cholesterol and protects the cardiovascular system. Walnuts are also great for your child’s brain, while making our bones strong and reducing chances of gallstones. Walnuts also help to regulate sleep.
PUMPKIN SEEDS: Pumpkin seeds are highly effective in boosting the immune system. They are recommended for those who are prone to infections. It also provides anti-inflammatory benefits for those with arthritis.
FLAX SEEDS: Flaxseeds may provide anti-inflammatory benefits, protect your bones, and protect against heart disease, breast cancer, and diabetes. Consuming flaxseeds also helps in lowering blood pressure in men with high cholesterol.
CRANBERRIES: Cranberries are great for kids and adults, as they include vitamins C, B, E, K and minerals such as iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. So off you go and buy some of the red vitamin bombs. They are a yummy yet healthy snack to have this winter.
QUINOA: This superfood is naturally gluten-free and also a very good source of calcium, magnesium, and manganese. It has a high level of several B vitamins, vitamin E and dietary fibre. If you are craving to munch something in winters you can make a number of healthy and tasty salads with quinoa for a feeling of fullness.
(The writer is Brand Manager, Indian Earth Foods.)