Vitamin C to zinc; important nutrients you must add to your winter diet

December 21, 2022 04:53 PM

wonder why you always feel lethargic, sleepy and low on energy during winter? Days are shorter and nights are longer in winter and this disturbs our circadian rhythm causing the body to produce more melatonin. Considering we may not get enough sun exposure on certain days; the levels of Vitamin D may also go down causing mood swings and anxiety. To tackle all these winter woes, one should step out more in the sun and also add the right nutrients to the diet for improving immunity, mood and prevent against winter ailments. Iron is important to regulate body temperature while zinc can provide protection from cold. Vitamin C boosts immunity and protects against seasonal illnesses.

"Winter is just like every season, the cold days also demand special care. So, it’s important to alter your diet according to the needs of the particular season. During winters, people take special care of their diets and try to include as many warm and nutritious foods, to improve their immunity an improve your skin and hair from dryness and dullness. A healthy winter diet is like internal layering of your body to protect against the harsh cold and the diseases that come with it. There are few vitamins that you must include in your diet, in order to prepare your body for the cold weather. During winter mood swings are common and the vitamins in your diet will boost your mood as well," says Sukanya Poojary, Executive Nutritionist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Malleshwaram, Bangalore.


Poojary on all the winter nutrients that you must add to your diet.

Iron help to regulate body temperature during winter and also helps maintain healthy skin, hair, cells growth apart from maintaining haemoglobin.

Sources: Honey, red meat, green leafy vegetables, dry fruits and seeds, fortified foods, jaggery, beetroot, spinach, broccoli pomegranate.

Recipes: Mixed sprouts and Chana dal tikki,ragi upma, methi and moong sprouts wrap, pineapple and coriander juice, watermelon guava juice.

Calcium is very important for growing kids. Body needs calcium to build and maintain strong bones. Your heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly. Some studies suggest that calcium, along with vitamin D, may have benefits beyond bone health: perhaps protecting against cancer, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Sources: Green leafy vegetables, milk and milk products, lean meat, dry fruits and seeds, soya products

Recipes: Guava and paneer salad, turmeric milk, rajma chat, paneer burji, broccoli and almond soup.

Research has shown that taking zinc within 24 hours of the first sign of a cold can reduce the duration of the cold. Zinc is the essential mineral that needs to be included in your winter diet because zinc mineral contains more than 300 enzymes that helps in repairing wounds, maintaining growth in children and fertility in adults, and protecting against free radicals along with other functions.

Sources: Eggs, meat, oysters, seafood, tofu, black-eyed peas, and wheat germ

Recipes: Spinach and chickpea soup, Badam milkshake, avocado milkshake, Bean chat, Sesame ladoos, and roasted pumpkin seeds.


Folic acid is essential for proper cell growth. Also referred to as folate or vitamin B9, it is one important nutrient for every woman, especially the ones who are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Sources: Spinach, beetroot, broccoli. Mustard green, orange, Banana, egg.

Recipes: Banana pancakes, broccoli paratha, egg masala, palak dhal.

This one's nature's immunity booster and is present in a number of seasonal vegetables and fruits. It is important to consume Vitamin C to ward off cold, cough and other seasonal diseases. Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon juice may help you boost Vitamin C levels in the body.

Sources: Carrots, beetroots, citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, tomato, kiwi fruits

Recipes: Lemon and coriander soup, kiwi jam, orange with mozzarella, lemon rasam, beetroot and orange soup.

Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant and supports the health of bones, teeth and soft tissues. It also supports the health of the immune system by maintaining the body's natural defences.

Sources: Spinach, carrot, apricots and sweet potatoes, pulses, tomato.

Recipes: Spicy potato and roti roll, chana subzi, tomato soup, dalia veg risotto.

During winters, days get shorter and nights get longer, the levels of Vitamin D or the sunshine vitamin may be depleted in the body. It's essential to consume it with your food.

Sources: Egg yolk, orange juice, dairy products, soya milk, fatty fish like tuna, mackerel, salmon.

Recipes: Cream of broccoli and mushroom soup, egg paratha, lassi, fish cutlet, oats idli.

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