12.11.17 / Nutrition

Food to Warm You Up this Winter

The winter is a perfect time to stay inside, cozy by the fire, and warm up from the inside out with nourishing and warming foods. These can be physically hot foods, such as soups and stews, as well as foods that heat the body by pushing blood and energy to the surface of the body during the digestion process. Warming foods are also said to improve circulation and boost the immune system to help prevent getting sick in the colder months.

Soups made with broth and loads of vegetables are a great way to warm up during this frigid time. Homemade soups are a better choice than canned, as canned soups often contain preservatives and large amounts of sodium. Bone broth, which is a stock that is made by simmering meat and bones with vegetables, herbs and spices, has gained a lot of attention recently. Bone broth contains collagen, which has gut healing properties, can improve joint health, and boost the immune system. While studies have not directly shown the benefits of consuming bone broth on a regular basis, it is rich in nutrients, and could be a beneficial and flavorful ingredient in your hearty winter soups.

In addition to soups, other foods can be considered warming or cooling. Whole grains and complex carbohydrates can increase body heat as it takes more energy for the body to break them down. Some examples are oatmeal, quinoa, buckwheat, millet and brown rice. Nuts and seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds, also have warming properties, as they increase blood circulation.

Vegetables such as chili peppers, winter squash, carrots, potatoes, turnips, garlic, onions, and leeks, are high in nutrients and can also help keep you energized through the winter. Warming fruits include dates, coconut, cherries, plums, and bananas. Spices including cumin, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric also aid in warming the body and improving immune health.

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