Winter is that time of the season when we sip hot tea/coffee along with some freshly made spicy snacks.
However, in recent years, India has been experiencing one of the coldest winters ever. This is the time of the season when one needs to take utmost care of our health.
Following is a list of tips to stay warm during the winter chills without breaking a sweat:
1) Drink less tea/coffee: People usually think it is better to drink hot tea or hot coffee during winters. Tea and coffee keep the body warm temporarily. These beverages should be consumed in moderate quantity as excess results in dehydration.
Sip green tea instead of tea during winters
However, medical experts suggests that it is better to have green tea as it is rich in antioxidants and helps in keeping acidity in control.
2) Consume the right soup: Winter is the perfect time to indulge in some hot soup. They are healthy, keep you full and are particularly soothing to the throat, making them a great option. But having any soup without knowing its calorie and nutritional value can hold up your weight loss goals as believe it or not, soups can be quite high in calories especially the creamy ones. In order to give you a yummy treat without the extra weight, below is a list of five healthy soups to beat the winter chills with a delectable soup every day.
Chicken and oats soup
A delicious blend of oats and chicken make this soup rich in proteins. The addition of parsley, pepper and other spices add incredible flavour to it, making it palatable.
Oats are rich in protein and fibre and are a good source of essential fatty acids, plant chemicals, amino acids and vitamin E. Chicken too is rich in protein and gives your body adequate energy after a good workout.
Mixed vegetable soup
If you find eating veggies boring then toss them up in a soup to get their various benefits and to mask their taste in something appetising. This soup has carrots, tomatoes, bottle gourd, potatoes and onions. You can add more veggies if you like.
Carrots are extremely good for your eyes, tomatoes give you enough antioxidants to keep ailments at bay, bottle gourd is low in calories yet gives you ample energy and potatoes provide your body with carbs.
Tomato, carrot and coconut soup
This soup is a health booster with a mix of coconut, tomato, carrot and a hint of garlic. It is excellent for people with high blood pressure as it is low in sodium and high in potassium content.
It is also rich in fibre which means a small piece can make you full for quite some time and reduce your hunger.
Apple pumpkin soup
Apple and pumpkin are a unique combination but makes for a great soup. Both the key ingredients have multiple health benefits. Not only do apples give you glowing skin, they also help fight cancer, prevent the risk of a stroke, help in weight loss and also improve memory.
Pumpkin on the other hand, is rich in vitamin A and antioxidants, dietary fibre and extremely low in calories. This soup is excellent for someone on a weight loss programme, add cheese if required.
Minted green peas soup with corn
Soft and delicious to eat, green peas are a powerhouse of nutrients that benefit our body in more than one way– it is good for the heart and bones, improves immunity, prevents ageing and has many more advantages. On the other hand, mint helps in digestion and fights infection.
Have this soup on days you feel sick to cheer you up and make you feel better.
3) Don't put your hands in pockets: When we're cold, our natural instinct is to walk with our hands in our pockets and to hunch forward. However, it's better to walk with our hands free and swinging by our side.
By swinging the arms, muscles will be given a workout, improving blood flow to the area which will generate more body heat.
4) Have regular hot showers: When you wake up in the morning and feeling dreadful, chances are you won’t feel like going to the bathroom straight away. But a steaming hot shower could be just what you want. The hot water can soothe your throbbing limbs while the steam can help clear bunged up sinuses.
5) Eat a curry for dinner: At dinner time, turn up the heat with a spicy curry or a something with chilli. Ingredients like ginger, garlic and chilli peppers are renowned for their anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, as well as their ability to clear the sinuses. Plus, they might be the only foods you have a chance of actually tasting. The spices can also help in getting rid of the germs from the system and clear the nasal airways.
6) Soak those aching limbs: At the end the day, by giving those tired and aching muscles a soak in a nice hot bath. A final steam can knock the cold virus on the head by helping to expel it from the body.
7) Don't Skip A Meal: Believe it or not, eating three meals a day can actually keep you a little warmer. Your body temperature can increase by a few degrees once the digestive process takes place in your stomach. That doesn't mean you should eat as much as you can during each meal, though. All your meals should be well balanced and have appropriate portion sizes. Having small amounts of healthy snacks once or twice a day is also recommended. As long as you can keep your digestive system going without overwhelming it, it's all good.
8) Avoid excessive alcohol consumption: The popular notion that drinking alcohol regularly during winters can keep out the cold is both true and false. Moderate alcohol consumption slightly increases blood flow to the skin, which accordingly creates the sensation of warmth in the skin's sensory nerves. It may or may not actually help in raising the body temperature, but at least your skin would feel a little warmer. Yet, excessive alcohol consumption usually yields quite the opposite result.
Drinking a lot of alcohol tends to cause the body to produce a considerable amount of sweat. Sweating is a quick way to lose body heat. That's why after a long night of drinking, most people's body temperature tends to drop below normal. So to stay warm this winter, limit your alcohol consumption to only one or two drinks a day, or better yet, none at all. A few sips of brandy can help but anything in excess is harmful for the body.
9) Do point your toes in bed: Doing a few simple exercises under the covers will help you feel warmer when you get out of bed. Start by pointing your toes up and down 20 times before circling the ankles ten times in each direction. Then clench and release thighs ten times, before doing the same with the buttocks ten times. This will warm you up and get your circulation going before you get out of bed.
10) Get eight hours of sleep: It is important for your body to recharge and a good night’s sleep will help you get your strength back as quickly as possible. To keep your immune system in tip top shape, try to establish a regular sleep pattern.
Avoid stimulating drinks like coffee and alcohol late in the evening and don't watch TV or do work in bed.