Wheat is the most extensively grown crop which is consumed as a staple cereal throughout the world. It is considered as the key ingredient in a variety of preparations such as bread, pasta, cookies, cake etc. It is composed of carbohydrates and has considerable amounts of proteins and other nutrients. It has become so overwhelming in everyone’s diet that other cereals like bajra, ragi, jowar etc, have taken a back seat. Other cereal grains that should be consumed during winters are:
Ragi (Finger millet)
It is a hard crop that is grown in high altitudes and can withstand harsh weather conditions. As per Ayurveda, it has a heating potency and helps to keep the body warm. Ragi is a storehouse of nutrients. It is the richest source of calcium and dietary fibre and is beneficial for pregnant as well as lactating women and also kids. It can be consumed in the form of ragi chapati, ragi porridge or ragi cookies.
Bajra (Pearl millet)
Bajra is a good source of starch and keeps the body full for a longer time. It is also considered as an energy boosting food. Being astringent and sweet in taste it helps in balancing Kapha. Bajra along with jaggery enriches the diet with iron and calcium.
When a person consumes jowar in the form of porridge, chapati etc during winters it provides heat in the body & keeps it warm. This gluten-free grain helps in balancing kapha. Jowar also boosts the immune system as it contains a significant amount of vitamins, nutrients, fibre & VItamin-C.
As during winters, the body becomes sluggish and we tend to eat foods that keep us energized throughout the day, we can consume maize in the form of chapati, soups, gravies, tikkis etc. The B-group vitamins present in maize are good for skin, hair, heart, brain and for proper digestion. It is also a good source of Vitamin- A, C and K, and selenium that boosts the immune system. Being hot in potency it helps to balance kapha.
Foxtail millet (Kangni)
It is good in winters as it is dry in nature and helps in balancing kapha. It has a low glycemic index and is high in fibre. It is gluten-free and enriched with Vitamin B6 which regulates the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
Therefore it can be concluded that to keep yourself warm & energetic during winters, don’t just stick to wheat and its products try other cereals too.