Winter is a season that many look forward to. Not only is the weather pleasant and bright most days in India, the winter months promise a variety of fruits and vegetables that are exclusive to the season. From carrots, oranges, turnips, mustard leaves, fenugreek leaves, spinach, peas, guavas to pomegranates, all kinds of colorful fruits and vegetables adorn the push-carts of your neighborhood greengrocers these days. Red and juicy carrots are a root vegetable that is in high demand during winters. From gajar ka halwa, salads, carrot juice to gajar ka pickles, carrots are a storehouse of antioxidants, fiber and other wonderful nutrients. (Also read: (8 Surprising Benefits of Adding Carrots to Your Daily Diet)
Benefits of Carrots: Why You Should Eat Carrots in Winters
During winters your appetite increases and when your stomach rumbles you crave all kinds of fried and sugary foods. Stocking up on healthy ingredients and planning your mid-meal snacks using seasonal fruits and vegetables is the perfect way to stave off winter hunger pangs.
“Carrots contain carotenoids which help in weight loss and also lycopene and lutein. All these antioxidants help reduce inflammation due to hormonal fluctuations and insulin resistance,” says Dr Anumita Pathak, Senior Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Gurgaon.
Additionally, carrots help maintain good optic health and prevent age-related macular degeneration.
“The high concentration of carotene, zeaxanthin, lutein, vitamin C, potassium, fiber and minerals make carrots a skin tonic. Carrots are a rich source of hyaluronic acid. Regular consumption of carrots naturally helps your skin become firm and supple,” says Dr. Pathak.
Carrots are great for heart health as the fiber and antioxidants present in them reduce plaque buildup in the arteries while the carotenoids and vitamin C in carrots help build a strong immune system.
“Carrots have an undeniable role in cultivating the medium for good bacteria. Good bacteria play an important role in overall health. Having enough healthy bacteria in your gut will lead to an anti-inflammatory domain that causes less inflammation in the body. Carrot fiber is a good culture for good bacteria. . The water-soluble polysaccharide arabinogalactan from carrot fiber is a prebiotic that maintains healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Carrots are also very good probiotics. Kanji water made from black carrots is a very good medium for Pediococcus acidylacti bacteria and is high in antioxidants,” says Dr. Pathak.
Healthy carrot recipe
To improve immunity, heart health and digestive health, there are some healthy ways to eat carrots during the winter season.
1. Carrot Candy: Rich in nutrients, the sweet and sour taste of carrots is very helpful in preventing morning sickness during pregnancy.
2. Kanji Water: Kanji is an excellent probiotic drink made with black carrots. It promotes good bacteria and improves your digestion.
3. Pickled carrots: Pickles made with less salt and without oil can be great appetizers and flavor enhancers on your plate.
4. Carrot Chutney: Carrot chutney is very nutritious and a good source of fiber. It is good for good digestion and also eases bloating.
5. Carrot Baked Samosa: Carrot Baked Samosa can be a healthy evening snack packed with many nutrients.
6. Carrot Seed Tea: Carrot seed tea is very helpful in breastfeeding. As it is lactogenic in nature, it helps in milk production during lactation. Carrot seed tea is also very beneficial in controlling menstruation. It is also helpful in PCOS.
7. Carrot Chips: Carrot chips are ideal snacks for their health. They are high in flavor and low in calories. Air frying is a healthy way to add them to your diet.
8. Carrot Rolls: Baked carrot rolls can be a healthy option for your kid’s tiffin and for your taste buds.
9. Carrot Sticks: You can enjoy carrot sticks as a snack with hummus and low-calorie yogurt dip.
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