As the temperatures dip in winter, it brings with it several niggling health issues. Strong immunity is important to keep sickness at bay and also maintain skin, hair, and joint health. Winters are especially tough for people with arthritis because as the temperatures dip, joint pains increase. Skin issues like dryness of the skin, eczema, and psoriasis breakouts get worse during winter. Apart from respiratory illnesses and cold and flu, winter can be tough for heart patients. When the temperature outside drops, our heart has to pump twice as hard to keep the blood flowing and keep our body warm. Sometimes, low temperatures might also lead blood arteries to contract, thus leading to inadequate oxygen flow to the heart. So it’s important to choose food items that will supplement and make up for the winter chill.
Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Nutritionist, Apollo Hospitals, shares that in cold weather, our energy levels, metabolism, and even food preferences alter. “Thus it is important to consume food that will not only keep us warm from the inside but will also provide us with the critical nutrients that the winters can deplete us of,” she says.
Essential winter food items list that is good for heart
Here are some essential food items for winter that are good for heart:
1) Broccoli: It is so full of vitamins and antioxidants, it is an excellent food to eat to avoid getting the winter flu. Containing fibres, fatty acids and vitamins that help to regulate blood pressure in the body, broccoli is excellent for heart health.
2) Carrots and sweet potatoes: The juice of sweet potato and carrot juice provides the body with potassium, an essential mineral that benefits your cardiovascular system. Potassium is good for lowering hypertension, which benefits overall heart health. Apart from heart health, there are other benefits of carrots and sweet potatoes. Beta-carotene, which is abundant in carrots and yams, is converted by the body into Vitamin A, which is essential for protecting our eyes from the sun and maintaining eye health. Carrot consumption on a regular basis can also help prevent cataracts and Yams are a healthier alternative to regular potatoes and contain beta-carotene, antioxidants, and fiber.
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3) Citrus Foods: Citrus fruits are high in Vitamin C, which protects our bodies from viruses and bacteria and boosts immunity. According to WebMD, citrus fruits contain many compounds that can help keep your heart healthy. Their soluble fiber and flavonoids may help raise healthy HDL (or good) cholesterol and lower harmful LDL (or bad) cholesterol and triglycerides. The fruits can also reduce high blood pressure; The potassium in citrus fruits can help reduce your risk of stroke and heart disease.
4) Oats: This is a well-known staple that is also extremely useful as a winter food. This cereal grain is great for fighting common illnesses in the cold because it is full of antioxidants, has a lot of soluble fiber, is very nutritious, and is good for the heart too.
5) Pomegranates: Elders and doctors suggest pomegranates as a nutritious winter fruit that can be consumed in a variety of ways throughout the season. They also have a lot of antioxidants in them and a lot of important nutrients like iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium, and are good for heart health.
6) Red Capsicum/Bell Pepper: Red capsicum contains a lot of carotenoids, which have been linked to lowering blood pressure, lowering the risk of heart disease, and even cancer.
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