Baby It’s Cold Outside! Try These 5 Winter Foods to Keep You Naturally Warm

From mushrooms to mustard greens: these seasonal foods that will help you fight winter illness and keep you warm.

4 min read
Baby It’s Cold Outside! Try These 5 Winter Foods to Keep You Naturally Warm

Having seasonally, as in eating foods in season, is one big rule of eating right and mindfully. It single handedly ensure better health and more required nutrients in the diet.

In winter, foods that naturally give warmth to the body and deliver maximum antioxidants to help keep flu, fever and cold away is the need of the hour.

That is why here’s a list of winter foods that are really good for you, but are often missed.

So, please consciously include them in your winter menu as often as possible, while they are in season.

Mustard Greens

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Green leafy vegetables help to reduce cholesterol levels.</p></div>

Green leafy vegetables help to reduce cholesterol levels.

(Photo: iStock)

Every winter have sarson ka saag at least once a week.

Why? Well, for starters this leafy green helps flush out the toxins from the body and reduces the chances of developing cancers.

It also helps lower cholesterol, and thus promotes heart health, and delivers vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium too (which helps regulate the blood pressure).

Plus there’s a reason why we get an array of saag’s in the winter season; they are naturally warming.

Cook it:

Cook it with just garlic and onions in olive oil till just barely wilted and serve with sourdough bread.

Carrot Tops

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Carrot tops are rich in vitamin A, C and K.</p></div>

Carrot tops are rich in vitamin A, C and K.

(Photo: iStock)

So you chop off the carrot tops (yes, the green part) and eat just the carrot? Join the club.

Almost everyone I know does that and miss out on chlorophyll (a brilliant detoxing and cleansing agent), loads of potassium (supports heart health and is a diuretic), and many other nutrients like folate, thiamine, magnesium, vitamin A, C and K.

In fact the carrot top contains six times more vitamin C than that of the carrots. And magnesium and K is a great combination for the bone health.

Cook it:

Make chimichurri and pair with carrots or crackers.

Just blend chopped carrot greens, dried oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes, garlic cloves, black pepper and salt.

Mix in vinegar and olive oil.


<div class="paragraphs"><p>Mushrooms strengthen the body from inside.</p></div>

Mushrooms strengthen the body from inside.

(Photo: iStock)

These fungi are rich in zinc and help promote the growth of white blood cells to make your body fighting fit.

Plus they are a probiotic food and help strengthen the body from inside by upping our natural resistance to diseases.

Cook it:

Have mushroom soup. Chop mushrooms finely and boil in 2.5 cups water for about 10 minutes.

Add 1 chopped green onion, 1/4th green capsicum and 1.5 tbsp cornstarch mixed in water (optional) and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, to taste, some coriander stalk and leaves, and a squeeze of lemon.

Finally, add in the end some soaked slivered almonds.

Turnip Greens

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Turnip greens can help to beat cancer.</p></div>

Turnip greens can help to beat cancer.

(Photo: iStock)

These greens (that most people usually throw) deliver a pretty impressive collection of antioxidants: vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C and manganese.

They are great for our immune system, protect against free radical damage, delay the aging process and are heart friendly too.

Turnip greens also deliver some copper, b vitamins and here’s a surprise - some omega 3 too.

The best news of course is that they are loaded with cancer beating glucosinolates that are unique sulfur-containing nutrients that not just help prevent cancer but help detox the body too.

Cook it:

Simply sauté them and season with soy sauce, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

Add pan fried tofu, or some cooked soya chunks.

Pink Lentil (Masoor Dal)

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Pink Lentil helps to prevent constipation.</p></div>

Pink Lentil helps to prevent constipation.

(Photo: iStock)

It delivers a lot of protein, and a good daily dose of fibre that helps push waste through your digestive system and prevent constipation.

It also delivers the B vitamin folate, iron and magnesium. Plus masoor is a warming dal, and when made with whole spices, it adds to the dish’s thermogenic properties further.

Cook it:

Make dal soup.


Wash 1 cup masoor dal, combine with 3 quartered onions, 4 large tomatoes, 5 garlic cloves, 1 ginger pc, salt, 1 litre water and cook in a pan on medium heat for 7-10 minutes till dal is tender. Let it cool, then blend and strain.

To temper heat 1 tbsp ghee, add 2 bay leaves, 1/2” cinnamon stick, 3 cloves and stir, till aroma is released. Now add 1/2 tsp curry powder and stir, quickly pour the tempering over the boiling soup.

Temper it just before you serve, and serve with chopped onions, lime wedges.

(Kavita Devgan is a nutritionist, weight management consultant, and health writer based in Delhi. She is the author of The Don't Diet Plan: A no-nonsense guide to weight loss, Fix it with Food, Ultimate Grandmother Hacks, and Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People.)

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