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Bounties of winter

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By Gul Nasreen
Tue, 12, 19

Dry fruits are some of the healthiest alternatives to salty, fried snacks and a great way satiate your cravings to nibble something or the other during winters. You! takes a look...

health benefits

During the chilly winters, our body needs a little extra dose of energy to cope with the weather. Among the season’s many bounties come dry fruits and nuts. Dry fruits are some of the healthiest alternatives to salty, fried snacks and a great way satiate your cravings to nibble something or the other during winters. They also work to satisfy a sweet craving while, providing you the much needed nutrients, vitamins and heat in the winter chill.

However, bear in mind that moderation is key. Limit the intake to about 20 grams total of mixed nuts and dry fruits. Never eat straight from a bag as you may indulge more than you should, which isn’t healthy. Opt for portion size i.e. a small handful. For specifics, that’s about a third of a cup, about 30 grams or less than that. That’s about 10 almonds, or pistachios and cashew nuts. In case of peanuts, a small cup is okay.

King of dry fruits

Fondly called the ‘king of dry fruits’, almonds are a powerhouse of essential fatty acids, fibre and protein. They are a great natural source of vitamin E, zinc, magnesium and selenium. Almonds are known to promote blood circulation, improve haemoglobin levels and reduce cholesterol and thereby, helping in the prevention of lung and breast cancer.

Moreover, to reduce your risk to high BP, you should ensure that your diet contains sufficient levels of magnesium. Almonds are a great source of magnesium. You will get 20 per cent of your daily recommended dose of magnesium in just one ounce of almonds.

Since winter season is a time that leads to a lot of binge-eating, almonds are a really good substitute. They are very filling, making them the perfect snack item for your healthy diet plan.

Super food

The good thing about figs is that they are not as expensive as almonds but they have variety of health benefits. Figs are rich in minerals such as, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and copper, containing antioxidant Vitamins A, B1, B2, E and K.

Figs are also good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure and also helps in controlling blood sugar levels. They are also good for controlling constipation, indigestion and stomach aches. For cold, bone health, anaemia and various heart ailments, figs help a great deal. Symptoms of cough, bronchitis and asthma can also be relived with this super food which becomes severe during the winter chills.

Wonder nut

Pistachio is nothing less than a wonder nut during the winters. They are a great source of healthy fats, fibre, protein, antioxidants, and various nutrients, including vitamin B6 and thiamine. Their health effects may include weight loss benefits, lower cholesterol and blood sugar, and improved gut, eye, and blood vessel health. They also boast several other important nutrients, including vitamin B6 and potassium. Antioxidants are vital to your health preventing cell damage and playing a key role in reducing the risk of disease, such as cancer. And, pistachios contain more antioxidants than most other nuts and seeds. What’s more, they’re delicious, versatile, and fun to eat. For most people, including pistachios in their diet is a great way to improve overall health.

Protein-rich

Walnuts are rich in omega 3 fatty acid or polyunsaturated fatty acid. They are a good source of protein and dietary-fibre and loaded with Vitamin E, Vitamin B6, folate and thiamine.

Studies have shown that walnuts also contain antioxidants which not only prevent growth of tumours but also reduce the risk of developing breast and prostate cancer.

Walnuts help in building resistance for insulin, control blood glucose levels and lower the risk of developing type 2 Diabetes. During pregnancy, it helps in reducing the symptoms of nausea and in proper brain development in children. Since they’re rich in biotin, walnuts prevent hair fall, improve hair texture and strengthen them. Moreover, they prevent ageing because of their antioxidant properties.

The powerhouse

Cashews are a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. While other nuts, such as almonds, may be higher in protein and fibre, eating nuts like cashews has been linked to cancer prevention, heart health, and weight maintenance. Cashews also include vitamins E, K, and B-6, along with minerals like copper, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, iron, and selenium, all of which are so important for a variety of bodily functions that we can’t go without them. Eaten in moderation, these nuts help reduce cholesterol levels and prevent migraines.

Moreover, apply cashew nut oil to help heal any cracked heels, nourishing skin and staying radiant during the winter season.

Favourite legume

Peanuts are an especially good source of healthful fats, protein, and fibre. They also contain plenty of potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and B vitamins. Despite being high in calories, peanuts are nutrient-rich and low in carbohydrates. They provide nutritional benefits and make a person feel fuller for longer. This makes peanuts a healthful, go-to snack when people compare them with chips, crackers, and other simple carbohydrate foods.

Peanuts help prevent cancers since all the legumes like peanuts have phytosterol called beta-sitosterol (SIT) in a high concentration. It helps to reduce the spread of tumour cells in your body and also reduce their size. These nuts also help control cholesterol levels and are beneficial during pregnancy as well. To get folate, peanuts are the best source. Not only this, peanuts also help to get rid of allergic diseases like asthma. Last but not least, peanuts contain a chemical tryptophan which helps with depression.