How Dry Fruits and Nuts Can Help You in Winter
Winter brings many woes in its trail. Apart from what the dipping mercury and the dryness in the atmosphere do to your skin and overall health; it is also the wedding season. That means overeating, that too all the unhealthiest foodstuffs which raise your blood sugar and cholesterol levels. You must look at your deadliest even when you are chilled to the bone and need to be cozily wrapped in a quilt. The worst aspect is that you become especially susceptible to all kinds of communicable diseases. The solution is simple ― add dry fruits to your daily diet.
Warm-up without compromising your health: Dates and nuts like peanuts, almonds, and walnuts are known to raise the heat in the body. Further, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins, micronutrients, and minerals of fresh fruit weight for weight making it a healthier option. Almond milk will help your body fight off cold. You need to be a little wary about allowing your body to overheat if you have oily skin as it could lead to pimple and blackhead breakouts.
Build Immunity Without Compromising on Taste
The biggest need in winter is to build immunity. Dry fruits like dates, figs, peaches, pistachios, and pears (Bartlett) are not only very tasty to eat individually, and when added to food; but they also provide you with vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fibers, and oils vital for excellent health. Further, vitamin C and protein in them build your immunity, thereby helping you to ward off colds, coughs, asthma, and other ailments common in winter. Dry fruits have an enormous quantity of an antioxidant called phenol which clears your system of free radicals and counters the aging process. Raisins have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that help you to fight infections, aches, and pains.
Get Glowing, Soft, Supple Skin
Prevent dry, cracked skin with aid from the natural oils that dry fruits are rich in. Almonds, walnuts, and peanuts are particularly rich in natural oils. Apricots help your body retain moisture and catalyze cell regeneration. Prunes, raisins, and walnuts help in cleaning impurities in the blood by flushing out toxins to make your skin glow. Almonds are naturally high in monounsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E which add to your skin’s suppleness and make it soft. Walnuts are especially rich in vitamin B which delays aging of the skin and prevents wrinkling. They also contain a plant-based Omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which improves the texture of the skin.
Boost Your Energy Levels and Brain Health
Since dry fruits like cashews, almonds, currants, pistachios, walnuts, dried apricots, and plums are some of the richest energy sources, delving into a bowl of dry fruits regularly during winter makes perfect sense. Nuts contain phytosterols, compounds that help lower blood cholesterol, and are full of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including potassium, folate, vitamin E, and magnesium. Walnuts are rich in vitamin E, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants like flavonoids which help your body to ward off dementia and improve overall brain health. Cashews can be eaten raw; pounded into a paste to be added to curries; roasted or fried to be added to diverse sweet or salty dishes to feel more energetic, and uplift your mood. Dates aid in delaying the onset of dementia, especially Alzheimer’s disease.
Make a Date With Dates
Dates are naturally filled with sucrose, fructose, and glucose which give you an immediate energy rush when you chew on a handful of them. This is why many sports personalities drink date juice during matches to re-energize instantly without contravening the guidelines or match rules. However, diabetics would be relieved to find that dates actually have a low glycemic index. So, there are no sugar level spikes after eating them. Since dates are rich in iron and potassium, they are an excellent means of improving digestive health, which is very beneficial for people who are susceptible to diarrhea during winter. However, people who suffer from constipation benefit from regular intake of prunes.
Protect your heart, and avoid getting cancer: Dates are rich in antioxidants like carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids which play a major role in preventing the development of cancer and cardiac ailments. Apricots, which are also rich in antioxidants, inhibit cancerous growth by countering the oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
Weight Control Made Easy
Dry fruits and nuts provide you with good calories. Since most of them are fiber-rich, they clean your system of harmful free radicals. Any kind of food that is fiber-rich proves an amazing aid to weight loss, or maintenance, depending on your needs. This is because they make you feel full easily, and suppress hunger pangs. However, avoid candied pineapples, mangoes, and apples if you need to watch your weight, or are diabetic. Raisins are packed with fiber, potassium, and polyphenols, but have a low to medium glycemic index value, and a low insulin index. This aspect makes it a safe food for diabetics, and those who are pre-diabetic.
Make this wondrous food a part of your daily diet: Apricots have a positive impact on your vision as they are rich in vitamin A, and strengthen your optic nerves. Their high calcium and potassium content bring better bone health; while the rich iron content prevents anemia, and gives a rosy glow to your skin.
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors