Winter is coming! Are you all prepared for it? No, not the hefty quilts and blankets, but are you internally well equipped to fight the cold chills? If not, I’m here to bring warmth in your chilly days. Do you know the food in winter, affects our body temperature?
Towards the beginning of November, we are all occupied in the ‘sweater hunt’ to face the upcoming winters. But what we fail to realise is the impact of our dietary habits on our body temperature.
Yes, the food we eat, to a great extent, determines how warm or cold we feel. Don’t you all remember the blissful feeling you get while sipping some hot coffee on a chilly winter’s day? Or the comfort of warm soup gushing down your throat? Well, apart from giving instant heat, they have to prolong effects on our body. Indeed, we are what we eat.
So here are some healthy and thermogenic foods in winter to keep you warm.
An original cultivar, the widely consumed organ is its root. Ginger roots have excellent health benefits, along with providing body warmth. The spicy flavour and thermogenic effects of ginger come from two compounds, gingerol, and shogaol.
Apart from warming effects, gingers help fight, flu and cold, chronic indigestion, reduces cholesterol, protects against osteoarthritis and heart diseases. Gingerol has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits also. Can be consumed in the form of ginger tea, powder or even raw.
Closely related to ginger, this magical herb has insane health benefits, including healing powers. Hence it called the healing herb. A cup of hot milk with turmeric or turmeric in warm water would be the best winter tonic.
The yellow roots help detoxification, fight against flu, boosts immunity, helps cure sinus congestion. Its benefits don’t end here. Curcumin, a compound found in turmeric, is responsible for the so many benefits of turmeric.
3) Sesame seeds
Who can forget the taste of ‘til ke laddu’ after flying kites on Makar Sankranti? Well those tiny seeds, apart from being hell yummy, can prove to be a health tonic and heat agent.
Acclaimed by Ayurveda, sesame seeds are known to provide body heat and energy since ancient times. Need a spotless glowing skin for the winters? Chew some sesame seeds every day.
Rich in fats, protein, B vitamins, minerals, fibre, antioxidants, these seeds are a must in your winter food.
Eggs are rich in selenium, vitamin D, B6, B12 and minerals such as zinc, copper, and iron. Consumed in any form, either boiled or scrambled, eggs are sure to give you enough summer warmth in the winters. Eating 2 eggs per day during winters is advisable.
Being an excellent metabolism booster, honey produces heat in the body. Perfect for the winter, right?
Good quality honey contains healthy amounts of antioxidants. Also, honey is known to have healing properties. Lowering blood pressure, reducing triglycerides and suppression of wounds are few of its many assets.
6) Black Pepper
Pepper, also known as the ‘king of spice’, has never failed to make us sweat. This thermogenic property is attributed to the component ‘piperine’. It has various health benefits. Some are detoxification, preventing cancer, aiding in digestion, combating skin exfoliating, keeping the wrinkles far off, etc. So a pinch of pepper in your soup or salads could help you stay warm.
Reading the word itself is enough to make us perspire. Chilli has always been associated with its extremely hot and spicy nature.
But chilli peppers can actually do more than just making you feel hot. The chemical ‘capsaicin’ is responsible for inducing thermogenesis in the body. In this energy is converted to heat. The benefits of chilli include fighting inflammations, boosting immunity, clearing congestion, and many more.
Beginning your winter day with a handful of almonds could be a healthy habit. Almonds are known for their hot nature. Biotin, in almonds, is known to bring out the glow in your skin. Better eaten when soaked in water. Want to achieve the hair goals during winters? Almond is the key! Warmth, beauty and health, the almond is your winter saviour.
Garlic is considered to be extremely hot-natured food. Being very pungent and spicy, it has healing effects in our body, and that’s what we want! When it comes to health benefits, it has several. Right from treating TB and hypertension, to killing intestinal worms. Garlic is a must food in winter.
Ginger and cloves have been famous when it comes to cold and flu treatment. But saffron seems underrated, despite its herbal properties. This magical herb has healing properties for winter colds and coughs. Grown in Kashmir, Saffron could be savoured with hot milk, or in sweet dish preparations.
With the benefits of vitamin B, banana can give you a cosy warm feeling. This super fruit is the favourite of athletes because just 2 bananas can compensate for a 90-minute exertion. The fruit is known to cure depression and prevent colon cancer.
A banana smoothie or banana salad would be great food in winter.
Ghee is associated with traditional Indian culture. Ghee or clarified butter is rich in vitamin A, D, E and K. It has a softening effect on our skin, preventing winter dryness. Cow’s ghee aids in increasing your body temperature. It also improves eyesight and detoxifies our system. So a spoonful of ghee every day would do good.
Winter causes our blood vessels to constrict. Jaggery dilates the vessels for proper flow of blood. And the adequate blood supply makes our body warm. Sweet jaggery milk or a jaggery halwa could be a great shield against the winter chills.
14) Green Tea
Green tea is the ideal beverage for a winter morning. Apart from being refreshing and relaxing, green tea has many antioxidants. These could be a great detoxifier of the body. Also, know for its weight loss benefits, green tea is healthier compared to the traditional drink. So start your winter mornings with a sip of green tea.
Cinnamon, the sweet-smelling spice gives the best results during the cold. The bark of the cinnamon tree has various medicinal benefits along with its sweet, spicy warm nature. Its fragrance tends to reduce mental stress and soothe your mind. Beauty benefits and curing of type 2 diabetes are some of its many benefits. Don’t forget to add this to your food in winter.
Some hot and sour soup while lazing under the quilt? I know it sounds heavenly! Well, a bowl of some spicy hot soup is great for your winter cravings. To make it even more useful, you could add rooted vegetables, pepper, and a combination o ginger and garlic. This would be an all in one appetiser food in winter.
The holy basil or tulsi is a typical house plant with incredible health benefits. Who would deny a cup of hot tulsi tea? The flavours are enough to relieve headaches, tiredness, and stress. Chewing on tulsi leaves helps combat flu and cold. It flushes out toxins and keeps the body warm.
18) Root veggies
With the arrival of winters, there are a vast variety of fresh succulent veggies, especially the rooted ones. Just like beets, carrots, radish, and turnips. Enriched with nutrients, these vegetables take a lot of time for digestion. This prolonged digestion generates heat in our body. So make sure you include some veggie salads or vegetable soups in your winter diet. Make your winters tasty, healthy and warm.
19) Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes remind us of smokey sweet and steamy bites beside the fire. Undoubtedly yummy and satisfying, these roots are rich in Vitamin A, C potassium and fibres. Also, it takes a long time for digestion, thus providing heat to the body. So don’t forget to add this delicious food in the winter diet.
Peanuts are known to be a powerhouse of nutrients. The polyunsaturated fats form the healthy fats. Enriched with proteins, potassium, phosphorus, and many other nutrients, these nuts help you with many diseases. The Argentine in peanuts builds a healthy immune system. Another component, Resveratrol, keeps away heart diseases. So apply some peanut butter to your bread or just chew them raw, because peanuts are all you want in winters.
The brain nut is known to sharpen your brain because it resembles it. What else can this brain-like nut do? This nut is rich in Monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fats make you feel warm. The protein-rich nut thus forms an ideal food in winter.
Winter is the best time to consume meat. Meat is proven to be highly thermogenic, that is heat-producing. The high levels of proteins and fats are responsible for the warming effect of meat. With proper amounts of lean protein, a good meat recipe would be a yummy meal with ample production of heat.
Oatmeals can he relished, not only in the morning but any time of the day. This food item is rich in fibres and proteins. These are an excellent choice for lowering blood cholesterol and a good heart. Oatmeal must be included in your food in winter. It also aids digestion.
24) Whole grains
Whole grains ( unpolished) are an excellent source of fibres and vital nutrients. Major ones are wheat, bajra, corn, etc. The B Vitamins and fibre help in proper digestion and bowel movements. Consuming whole grains could lower the risk of heart diseases and stroke too.
The seeds are part of vital importance. Cumin forms an essential spice in the Indian kitchen. It is a very mild and nutty spice, warm by nature. Cumin produces body heat slowly and mildly. Used in traditional Indian medicine, cumin helps fight foodborne disease.
Gaurav is Senior Developer in an IT Firm. He has been into blogging for over 5 years and embarks his presence in Health and Fitness niche along with Social and Political genre. Read his website- godofsmallthing.