From Ketogenic to Vegan and Paleo, to the 5:2 and Cotton Ball – these are few among the sea of different diets that we hear about from nutritionists everyday. It sometimes becomes so overwhelming to decide what to really eat that we have to go on a “de-stress” diet to keep pace with these food trends.
However, contrary to the current inclinations towards fancy diet, it is the simple things in our kitchen that can keep us healthy in every season.
As winter approaches, Rujuta Diwekar, India’s leading nutrition and exercise science expert suggests shifting “to the seasonal grains, veggies and load(ing) up on makhan and ghee.”
The celebrated nutritionist has worked extensively towards mainstreaming culturally relevant food and lifestyle choices for sustainable health. She gives us a quick list of food items that traditionally help the transition of the body into the winters and keep our immunity up.
- Bajra - The millet is rich in minerals and fibre, helps prevent joint aches. It is best enjoyed with ghee or makhan.
- Makai - Another nutritious millet that goes well with all the local greens of the seasons, and all things saag.
- Jaggery and Ghee - A combination that helps clear sinuses and prevents cold. Eat post lunch and dinner and it goes well with Bajra rotis as well.
- Kulith - Horsegram, a pulse that not just prevents kidney stones but helps the skin and scalp stay better hydrated and nourished in the winter. Have a dal with rice and ghee. Parts of Uttarakhand even make kulath paratha, where the pulse is used as stuffing instead of potatoes. Especially useful when winters are harsh.
- Butter and Ghee - Load up on these, will ensure that digestion stays smooth and that you are able to assimilate all the fat-soluble vitamins including Vitamin D.
- Til - The seed can be used as seasoning, oil or turned into a gajak or chiki. It is healthy for eyes, skin and bones.
As far as taking care for skin and hair during winters is concerned, Rujuta again directs us to the basic ingredients found in the Indian pantry. “Mustard oil for the scalp with a few methi dana soaked in is a traditional winter ritual that every Himachal-native will swear by and it works beautifully even in places like Mumbai if you can bear the smell;)
All the greens of the season, the pinni laddoos, chyawanprash, amla and bel sherbets do wonders for the skin and hair.”