Winter is one of the best seasons to snuggle up under the blanket and warm up the body with hot foods, soups, and chocolates. However, winter is also a time when most of us are down with flu or a cold. There are a number of contagious diseases that run high during this time. Chilly winters often invite problems like the common cold and viruses enter our body with our immune system getting weaker during the flu. Hence, it is important to include healthy foods that can strengthen the body, and protect it against flu and other diseases. Here is a list of foods that one needs to have more of during the winter season.

Dark, leafy vegetables – Include a lot of dishes made from leafy green vegetables such as spinach, methi leaves, kale, mustard, and other such veggies. These are an excellent source of antioxidants and beta-carotene. Packed with high nutritional value, these can also be used in soups or included in breakfast or snack recipes apart from the main course for strengthening the immunity.

Garlic – Being rich in sulphur containing compounds such as allicin, garlic also protects the body against flu and the common cold. It is a great flavouring agent that not only doubles up the taste of a dish but also can be used in a variety of dishes to help the body get the fighting strength against diseases common in winters.

Ginger – Another spice that enhances the flavour of a dish and is added to most dishes for a punching aroma is ginger. Be it tea, soups, curries, mocktails or even cocktails- ginger is widely used and has a great range of benefits for the body. A concoction of ginger, honey, black pepper is also used for treating sore throats and cough. It is helpful for treating inflammation and boosting immunity.

Citrus Fruits – Winter is a time to enjoy several fruits and build up the required dose of vitamin C, which is present in most of them. Include lemon, oranges, lime and other citrus fruits that are high on Vitamin C and can boost the immunity to a great level.

Turmeric – Use this yellow kitchen spice to not only add colour to your dishes but also for its various benefits that are helpful in guarding the body against all kinds of flu, common cold and other diseases that especially hit us during winters.

Yoghurt and pro-biotic foods – A healthy gut also paves the way for a healthy immune system. Hence, pack on foods in your diet schedule that provides the intestinal tract with adequate gut bacteria to fight off diseases and remove viruses from the body. Yoghurt is an excellent source of gut bacteria and hence should be included as part of the daily diet. Other foods those are rich in pro-biotics are kombucha, sauerkraut, and miso.

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