Advice: Winter’s nutty delights

Published December 16, 2023
Illustration by Faraz Ahmed
Illustration by Faraz Ahmed

Winter is officially here, and along with it comes the holiday season. There’s no doubt that as temperatures drop, our taste buds crave all kinds of comforting seasonal munchies that accompany winter.

The colder months offer nature’s most nourishing foods from various groups, such as nuts, fruits, soups, hot beverages, etc. Nuts, in particular, have a special place in almost every household, whether in small amounts or abundance. Whether you love the classic legume peanut or the powerhouse of nuts, the walnut, let’s grab a handful of these munchies every day and explore the treasure of energies they hold during this cold season.

Winter superfoods

Pistachio

Bursting with antioxidants, fibre and heart-healthy fats, pistachios are one of the leading nuts in the nut family. They are a nutritional powerhouse. Pistachios are packed with essential nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium, which provide a sustained release of energy, making them the perfect go-to snack during the colder months.

Beyond their nutritional profile, pistachios have a rich history steeped in tradition and symbolism. In many cultures, these green nuts are associated with good luck and prosperity, and are served during winter gatherings and festivities.

Almonds

Almonds bring more than just a satisfying crunch to the table. Renowned for their versatility and nutritional benefits, almonds are the winter warriors you didn’t know you needed.

Packed with vitamin E and magnesium, almonds take on the role of immune-boosting champions during the colder months. Vitamin E acts as a potent antioxidant, supporting the body’s defence against winter-related ailments, while magnesium contributes to overall well-being, helping to keep those seasonal blues at bay.

Cashew nuts

With a velvety, smooth taste, what makes cashews truly exceptional is their impressive mineral profile. Bursting with essential minerals such as zinc and iron, cashews are more than a snack — they are a nutritional ally in the battle against winter fatigue.

Zinc supports immune health, an invaluable defence during the colder months, while iron contributes to overall well-being, combating any hint of winter lethargy.

Peanuts

Peanuts are timeless darlings of winter snacking whether enjoyed roasted or salted, these legumes offer more than just a tasty treat. Packed with protein and healthy fats, peanuts provide a hearty and satisfying munch, making them an ideal companion during the winter season.

Walnuts

Walnuts stand out as the intellectual powerhouses, aptly earning the title of ‘brain food,’ as they resemble miniature brains. The nutritional prowess of walnuts lies in their abundance of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for supporting brain health. These healthy fats play a crucial role in maintaining cognitive function and may contribute to a sharper mind, making walnuts a must for nourishing both body and brain during the winter season.

The antioxidants present in walnuts enhance their status as brain food. These compounds help combat oxidative stress, offering protection to brain cells and potentially contributing to long-term cognitive well-being.

Dates

Dates are high in dietary fibre, which aids digestion and helps prevent constipation. They are full of essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and iron. These little treats are like nature’s candy, providing one quick pick for an instant energy boost. So, whether you’re playing outdoors or having a movie night with family, dates are the perfect sweet companions for any time of the day.

Dried apricots

These tiny, orange delights not only taste amazing, but also bring a burst of vitamins that help keep the winter blues away. For instance, they are rich in vitamin A, which is crucial for maintaining healthy skin, vision and immune function. They also provide vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports the immune system and overall health. Moreover, dried apricots are a good source of dietary fibre, promoting digestive health.

Pine nuts

Despite being a bit pricey, pine nuts offer a delightful crunch that everyone loves. Beyond their taste, these nuts are packed with essential nutrients crucial for the overall growth and development of children.

Pine nuts are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which promote heart health. They contain protein, contributing to muscle repair and growth. And are rich in antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

There are many other members in the nut family, but these are easily available everywhere. But kids, think of the nut family as part of our traditions and something we can all enjoy together while getting cosy on chilly nights. Instead of snacking on unhealthy foods like chips or candies, munching on dates, enjoying peanuts, or crunching on pistachios provides a tasty and healthier option.

So, grab some nuts and relish the crunchy goodness togetherness with your family on chilly evenings.

Published in Dawn, Young World, December 16th, 2023

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