Keep warm and carry on

Parishka Gupta

To all those who could not make their trip to the hills this year: Who needs Shimla when you live in Delhi!? As the predicted cold wave persists, we’re compelled to cozy up in our blankets and lounge near the heater. In fact, AI-generated images of India Gate covered in snow do not seem like a far-fetched scenario anymore.

We just logged the eighth cold wave of the season—the most in the month in at least 12 years—one that plummeted to a freezing 1.4 degree Celsius on Monday. Extreme cold waves like the one this city is experiencing currently can result in hypothermia, frostbite, and increase the risk of a heart attack. Keeping healthy is imperative to fight this frigid winter. In fact, there are a few changes you can make in your routine that will help you stay fit as a fiddle.

Bolster your immunity

The tantrums of Delhi’s weather can take a toll on one’s immune system. “It is important to make sure that we give the immune system the right raw material,” shares Khushboo Jain Tibrewala, a nutritionist and diabetes educator who founded The Health Pantry, which is a lifestyle and fitness platform. Tibrewala—she imparts the wisdom of modern health science with an old-school touch—advises taking a small strip of premium-quality jaggery,  keeping it in your mouth, and letting it melt. This, she says, helps open up your respiratory tract, heats the body naturally, and is also instrumental in energising your joints.Ishi Khosla, nutritionist and author of The 4-G Code to Good Health, suggests drinking enough water so you keep
well hydrated throughout the day.

Another habit that Tibrewala says you must inculcate is starting your day with a spoon of good-quality, grainy and solid desi ghee (best when made at home). “Ghee lubricates your body, helps tackle dry skin, and keeps the body moist,” she explains. This grandmother-approved ingredient also makes up for the extra calories that the body needs in winter.

Ingredients that matter

There are a variety of nutritious additions that can be made to your regular diet to help keep you warm. Befriend the power couple viz.jaggery and sesame. Jaggery heats the body while sesame lubricates it. Leafy vegetables such as sarson (mustard greens) and bathua (wild spinach) can be part of your daily diet via a bowl of saag every day to keep your magnesium and Vitamin A levels up, says Tibrewala. Khosla, on the other hand, suggests adding saffron, spices, ginger, garlic, mustard seeds, fresh fruits, bajra in warm water, soups, or teas. “These are a part of the traditional winter diet,” she concludes. These nutritionist-approved habits and ingredients are just the answer for those looking to naturally stay warm this season.

Dos & Don’ts

  •  Tibrewala says to have as much jaggery as possible.
  •  While keeping oneself is important no matter the season, Khosla maintains that during this time, one must give special attention to their water intake.
  •  Don’t skip your supplements, says Khosla, adding that magnesium is a must this time around
  •  Tibrewala suggests avoiding adding extra ghee in dishes.