As the temperature dips, resist the urge to reach for an unhealthy snack. Take a pick from this list of healthy options instead.
Hailed as the ‘green of the moment’ and the ‘”it” green’, kale is the trendiest vegetable in town right now. In fact, this curly, leafy vegetable has become so famous that it has even collected some critics who’ve accused kale and its advocates as being “pretentious”.
Love it or hate it, kale is the undisputed powerhouse of Vitamin K. It helps in the prevention of various types of cancer, improves bone health and joint flexibility. The vitamin A in kale is great for improving vision and gives you glowing skin.
Nutritional Value of Kale
- Nutrients: Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Calcium, Fiber
- Calories: 49 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Try various versions of kale soups for a bowl of warm winter delight
Fennel seeds are stocked with many vital vitamins and minerals. It is effective in treating common winter complaints like cold, cough and a sore throat.
Fennel seeds are also effective in keeping degenerative neurological disorders at bay and fighting the signs of ageing because of its high content of antioxidants. The seeds also help relieve menstrual pain in women.
Nutritional Value of Fennel Seeds
- Nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B-complex, Dietary fiber, Iron, Calcium
- Calories: 7 per one teaspoon
- Best Enjoyed: Boil fennel seeds and a teaspoon of honey in water for a cup of herbal tea.
Come winter and Vitamin D (or the sunshine vitamin) deficiency becomes a concern for many. Vitamin D is an essential nutrient which plays an important role in increasing the body’s immunity It also aids in strengthening the bones. If you’re not getting enough sun then make sure that you have some salmon which is one of the richest sources of this vitamin.
Nutritional Value of Salmon
- Nutrients: Omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D
- Calories: 200 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Grilled salmon is the most popular and also the healthiest.
There are many different types of winter squash available in the market. Butternut squash, which is the pear shaped yellow variety, is just one among the healthiest of vegetables. Butternut squash contains high levels of folic acid that is especially good for pregnant women because the nutrient helps in the development of the baby’s brain.
Butternut squash is also a warehouse of beta carotene. The human body converts beta carotene into Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for healthy vision. It is also said to prevent breast cancer in women.
Nutritional Value of Butternut Squash
- Nutrients: Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Dietary fiber, Folic acid, Potassium
- Calories: 38 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: A bowl of thick warm squash soup makes for the perfect winter starter. Choose a squash that is heavy and still contains the stem.
Fenugreek has several health benefits for women. It increases milk production in lactating mothers, helps in elevating iron deficiency, and eases menopausal symptoms.
Fenugreek also makes for an excellent ingredient for home made face and hair masks and can be used to treat blackheads and blemishes and to cure hair fall and dandruff.
- Nutrients: Vitamins, Potassium, Iron
- Calories: 50 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Fenugreek leaves can be used as seasoning in curries while fenugreek seeds can be used to prepare healthy herbal tea.
Kiwi is just the fruit you’re looking for if wrinkles and fine lines are causing you concern. Vitamin C plays a major role in collagen synthesis while Vitamin E fights against the formation of free radicals. These two processes together help in keeping the skin younger. Besides its potent beauty benefits, kiwi also provides several health advantages.
The high potassium level in kiwi helps stabilize the blood sugar level. The high amount of dietary fiber in kiwi acts as a detoxifying agent for the body, while Vitamin C plays the part of an immunity booster against several diseases. Enough reasons to stock the fridge with this super fruit this winter.
Nutritional Value of Kiwi Fruit
- Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Folic acid, Dietary fiber, Potassium
- Calories: 60 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Piping hot kiwi pancakes for breakfast make for a healthy and delicious start to cold winter days.
For a strong immune boosting winter super food, look no further than Brazil nuts. These nuts are also called nature’s vitamin pill because of its many disease fighting properties. Brazil nuts are said to be the richest sources of selenium which gets converted into an effective antioxidant—selenoproteins—when consumed. Selenium reduces the risks of cancer and heart disease. Brazil nuts also have several beauty benefits.
Regular consumption of Brazil nuts imparts natural luster to the hair. These nuts also make for an excellent homemade exfoliater for the skin
Nutritional Value of Brazil Nuts
- Nutrients: Selenium, Protein, Potassium, Dietary Fiber
- Calories: 650 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Since Brazil nuts contain very high levels of selenium (almost twice the recommended daily dose), eating them on a daily basis is not recommended. Instead, eat a couple of nuts once or twice a week.
Egg yolks maybe infamous for their high levels of cholesterol but if eaten within recommended limits, they can prove to be one of the healthiest foods. Protein, the body’s building block, is the hero nutrient in eggs. Eggs also contain the nutrient chlorine that can help prevent breast cancer.
- Nutrients: Protein, Vitamin D Vitamin A, Zinc
- Calories: 150 per 100 grams
- Best Enjoyed: Whether you like them poached, boiled or sunny side up, eggs should form a healthy part of your breakfast. But avoid combining them with foods which are high in fat and cholesterol like bacon and butter.
Coffee’s nutrient-laden cousin, green tea is fast becoming the go-to health infusion for all. When it comes to the ideal beverage, experts say that green tea is second only to water. Regular consumption of green tea is known to protect against various types of cancer, including those of skin, breast and lungs.
Green tea relieves stress by keeping blood pressure in check. It also helps speed up the metabolic rate because of its antioxidant effects. Green tea is also known to boost immunity against diseases like influenza and flu.
Nutritional Value of Green Tea
- Nutrients: Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Antioxidants
- Calories: 2 per 100 milliliter
- Best Consumed: Experts recommend drinking two to three cups a day after a meal.