As we find ourselves enveloped in the tender embrace of winter's chilly winds, our dietary inclinations must gracefully pivot to harmonize with the evolving season. The retreating allure of outdoor activities, coupled with the lurking specters of colds, flus, and parched skin, beckon us to embark on a journey towards a holistic well-being.
To navigate these frosty realms and preserve the sanctity of our health in the wintertide, it becomes imperative to orchestrate the melodious symphony of a balanced diet, punctuated with the harmonious introduction of seasonal fruits. These bountiful offerings from nature's cornucopia emerge as veritable elixirs, bestowing upon us the precious gifts of augmented metabolism, enhanced digestion, emboldened immunity, and the nurturing of an overall state of health during the winter's tender reign.
In the winter season, inadequate dietary intake can lead to various health problems, including cardiovascular diseases (CVD) like hypertension, angina, and arrhythmia, gastrointestinal infections like constipation, abdominal discomfort, lower abdominal infections, depression, and anxiety, as well as respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis, in addition to joint pain and other issues.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that consuming an appropriate amount of fruit and vegetables daily (at least 400 g) can help reduce the risk of non-communicable diseases and provide sufficient amounts of dietary fibre.
According to experts, fruits such as apples, kiwis, and amla have anti-oxidative properties and are abundant in vitamin C. Vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, and sweet potatoes, as well as ginger, are also beneficial for increasing immunity during the winter season.
Speaking to the Drug Today Medical Times, Dr. Anand Sapre, a senior surgeon at Sumati Memorial Hospital, said, "It is important to maintain a balanced diet during the winter season, as our body needs additional support to overcome the problems related to the cold weather. A balanced diet typically consists of a variety of foods that are rich in carbohydrates, fibres, vitamins, minerals, protein, and fats. Including green vegetables like spinach, beetroot, tomatoes, corn, carrots, sprouts, cereals, and cereal products like Dalia, rawa, bajra, jowar, etc. in daily diet plans can help boost immunity and combat the health issues associated with winter."
An Ayurvedic healthcare professional on the condition of anonymity said, "Citrus fruits and berries such as oranges, grapes, lemons, and amla are the healthiest winter fruits. Fruits high in vitamin C have antioxidant, antimicrobial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and cardioprotective properties."
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Public Health also demonstrated the positive effects of fruits and vegetables on human health. Fruits and vegetables have been proposed as a potential factor in the prevention of osteoporosis in adults, primarily due to their high levels of calcium and vitamins, which are essential for bone health. Additionally, a higher intake of fruit and vegetables lowers the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and respiratory symptoms.
Fruits and vegetables that are available during the colder months offer a unique blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and other beneficial nutrients, making them an essential component of any winter diet. These fruits and vegetables can help to prevent diseases, maintain energy, and improve immunity. Therefore, it is important to recognise the benefits of a well-balanced diet and to appreciate the advantages the seasonal winter fruits and vegetables provide for one's health and well-being.