Complete your diet by having 3G meal daily

5 foods that are essential to your winter diet

With winter slowly setting in, the body undergoes changes to keep up with the weather. For that, it requires a lot of vitamins and energy. In fact, a change in diet according to each season is a must, as it will help in supplying the body with the right fuel. Here are a few foods that you need to include in your diet this winter…


Honey is a good alternative to sugar and is used as a sweetener. But during winter you can use it all the more, as it keeps the body warm and helps fight infections and viruses that might cause cough and cold. Just have a spoon of honey as is everyday or mix it in a glass of warm water or milk.

Green leaves:

Green leaves like spinach are an ideal inclusion in your winter diet. Spinach is an anti-oxidant and is high in vitamin A and C. It is good for the hair and skin and provides iron, protein, and minerals, apart from vitamins. It helps prevent asthma too, among other things.

Root vegetables:

Root vegetables like carrots, beetroots, turnips and potatoes are not only nutritious, but are also abundantly available during winter in their freshest forms. Vegetables like carrots are high in vitamin A, which is good for the skin and helps fight cold and other common infections.

Citrus fruits:

A lot of citrus fruits, especially oranges, are in season during winter and should be included in your diet. Citrus fruits, like oranges, tangerines and grapes, are rich in vitamin C and are good for the skin and metabolism. They also help fight cold and regular consumption keeps viruses at bay. The fibres in them also help control cholesterol.


While garlic makes our food tasty, there are a lot of health benefits to it too, especially during winter. It helps keep the body warm and has antibacterial and antiviral properties that help fight different winter diseases.


Safe water standards

Why do we need water ?

Water accounts for 70% of our body weight. It is a constituent of blood and other vital body fluids. Water plays a key role in elimination of body wastes and regulation of body temperature. The body loses water through sweat, urine and faeces. This loss must be constantly made good with clean and potable water. A normal healthy person needs to drink about 8 glasses (2 litre) of water per day. During very hot weather and while undertaking vigorous physical activity, this requirement increases as a considerable amount of water is lost through sweat.

When is water considered safe and wholesome ?

Water should be safe and wholesome i.e., it should be free from disease-causing agents like bacteria, viruses, parasites etc., and harmful chemical substances like pesticides, industrial wastes, heavy metals, nitrates, arsenic and excess of fluoride. Fluorosis, a disease with bone deformities and dental problems, results from drinking water containing an excess of fluoride over long periods. Generally, a concentration of 0.5 to 0.8 mg of fluoride per litre of drinking water is considered safe..


How is water rendered safe ?

If a water source is not safe for drinking, boiling it for 10-15 minutes is a satisfactory method of purification of the water. It kills all disease-causing organisms and also removes temporary hardness. However, boiling will not remove other chemical impurities. Tablets containing 0.5g of chlorine can disinfect 20 litres of water.There are many modern gadgets which claim to provide safe and wholesome water. However, they vary in efficacy






Source : NIN, BIS 


Dietary Guideline 15: Include micronutrient rich foods in the diets of senior citizens

Rationale : Senior citizens need more of vitamins and minerals to remain healthy and active

Body composition changes with advancing age, and these changes affect nutritional needs of the elderly.

Elderly or aged people require reduced amounts of calories, as their lean muscle mass and physical activity decrease with ageing.

Elderly are more prone to diseases due to lowered food intake, physical activity and resistance to infection.

Good /healthy food habits and regular comfortable level of physical activity are required to minimise the ill effects of ageing and to improve the quality of life.

Elderly need adequate amounts of protein, carbohydrates, fat, vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.

Elderly need more calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and antioxidants to prevent age-related degenerative diseases and for healthy ageing.


Eat a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

Match food intake with physical activity.

Eat food in many divided portions in a day.

Avoid fried, salty and spicy foods.

Consume adequate water to avoid dehydration.

Exercise regularly.


Dietary guideline : 14 – Minimize the use of processed foods rich in salt, sugar and fats


Processed foods being rich in fats, salt, sugar and preservatives may pose a health risk if consumed regularly

Urbanization has increased the intake and demand for processed foods.

There is a trend towards replacing traditionally cooked foods with processed foods.

Processed foods may not be nutritionally balanced unless fortified.

Sugar, a processed food, provides empty calories.


Prefer traditional, home made foods.

Avoid replacing meals with snack foods.

Limit consumption of sugar and unhealthy processed foods which provide only (empty) calories.

Prefer fortified processed foods.

Always read food labels (given on containers) regarding content of nutrients, shelf-life and the additives present.


Dietary guideline -13 : Drink plenty of water and take beverages in moderation

Rationale :Water is the most important nutrient of all and helps in the upkeep of our health.

Water is the major constituent of the human body.


Beverages are useful to relieve thirst and to meet fluid requirements of the body.

Some beverages provide nutrients while others act as stimulants.

Milk is an excellent beverage for all age groups as it is a rich source of nutrients.


Drink enough of safe and wholesome water to meet daily fluid requirements.


Drink boiled water, when safety of the water is in doubt.

Consume at least 250 ml of boiled or pasteurized milk per day.

Drink natural and fresh fruit juices instead of carbonated beverages.

Prefer tea over coffee.

Avoid alcohol.Those who drink should limit its intake.


Dietary guideline : 12 – Adopt right pre-cooking processes and appropriate cooking methods

Rationale : Healthy and positive food concepts and cooking practices are foundation for good health

Cultural factors play an important role in dietary practices.

Faulty food fads and beliefs adversely affect nutrition and health.

Cooking renders food palatable and helps in easy digestion.

Cooking destroys harmful germs.

Faulty pre-cooking and cooking process lead to loss of nutrients.

Cooking at high temperatures leads to destruction of nutrients and formation of harmful substances



Avoid food fads

Do not wash food grains repeatedly before cooking.

Do not wash vegetables after cutting.

Do not soak the cut vegetables in water for long periods.

Do not discard the excess water left over after cooking. Use only sufficient water for cooking.

Cook foods in vessels covered with lids.

Prefer pressure/steam cooking to deep frying/roasting.

Encourage consumption of sprouted/fermented foods.

Avoid use of baking soda while cooking pulses and vegetables.

Do not reheat the left over oil repeatedly.


Dietary guideline : 11 – Ensure the use of safe and clean foods

Rationale :

Contaminated and adulterated foods  are major causes for several food-borne illnesses in the country

Safe and good quality foods are essential for maintaining good health

Naturally-occurring toxins, environmental contaminants and adulterants in foods constitute a health hazard.

Consumption of unsafe foods can lead to food-borne diseases.


Buy food items from reliable sources after careful examination.

Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly before use.

Store the raw and cooked foods properly and prevent microbial, rodent and insect invasion.

Refrigerate perishable food items.

Maintain good personal hygiene and keep the cooking and food storage areas clean and safe.

Always use thoroughly cleaned utensils for cooking/ eating.


Dietary guideline : 10 – Restrict salt intake to minimum

Rationale : Increased salt intake may pose health risk and may lead to hypertension and heart disease


Salt is the the major electrolyte in the extra-cellular fluid.

Sodium plays an important role in nerve conduction and fluid balance in the body.

Maintenance of sodium balance depends on kidney function.

High intake of salt (sodium chloride) is associated with high blood pressure and stomach cancer.

All foods contain sodium. Sodium requirements can be met with moderate salt intake.

Sodium intake needs to be balanced by potassium intake.



Restrict the intake of added salt right from an early age.

Develop a taste for foods/diets that are low in salt.

Restrict intake of preserved and processed foods such as papads, pickles, sauces, ketch up, salted biscuits, chips, cheese and salted fish.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. They are good source of potassium.

Use always iron fortified iodized salt (double fortified salt).



Dietary guideline : 9 – Exercise regularly and be physically active to maintain ideal body weight


Regular physical exercises increase strength and stamina, elevates ‘good’ cholesterol and adds pink tinge to health


Physical activity of moderate intensity is recommended for health and well being.
Physical activity is essential to maintain ideal body weight by burning excess calories and is of vital significance for health and prevention of noncommunicable diseases.
Physical activity is a major modifiable risk factor in reduction of noncommunicable chronic diseases.
Physical activity may reduce the risk of falls and injuries in the elderly.
Exercise is a prescriptive medicine.
Move your body as much as you can.


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A minimum 30-45 minutes brisk walk/physical activity of moderate intensity improves overall health.
Include ‘warm-up’and ‘cool- down’ periods, before and after the exercise regimen.
Forty five minutes per day of moderate intensity physical activity provides many health benefits.