The best foods to keep you feeling warmer during winter

Yep, it’s started to get pretty chilly out there. No doubt you’ve started cranking that heating up and donning your woollies to combat the cold. But don’t forget, the right foods can also make for the best winter warmers too!

Thankfully there’s plenty of highly-nutritious foods that can help to keep you nice and toasty-warm during winter. These foods can work to push blood and energy to the surface of the body during the digestion process, invigorating your body and helping you keep the chills at bay.

With this in mind, here’s our list of some of the best foods to keep you feeling warmer…

Root vegetables

Vegetables can work wonders for warmth, especially things like radishes, turnips and sweet potatoes. These can be essential during the colder months, as they all help with a process known as thermogenesis, which essentially means the process of our body producing heat, caused by food metabolising.

Typically foods that take your body a longer amount of time to fully digest will help to increase your body temperature. One of the best foods for this are root vegetables, so make sure you chuck a few into your next roast dinner or even include a couple in a cosy soup to really feel warm and fuzzy.

Chili peppers

Chili peppers are another great food to make you feel hotter of course. This is because chilli peppers contain the compound capsaicin and it’s this that causes them to be spicy when your body reacts to it. 

Unsurprisingly this spiciness can leave you feeling a lot warmer. If you include some spicy peppers in a chilli-con-carne for example, you’ll also get the benefit of protein from the beans and the tomatoes and onions will be full of antioxidants for added healthiness too. 

Onions

Speaking of onions… these flavoursome vegetables are actually used in traditional Chinese medicine, as a chi, or energy tonic. This is because they are said to help fight off illness, especially in cold weather.

They are loaded with antioxidants and they have strong antibacterial properties, which can all help to boost your immune system. Onions can help to generate heat in your body, and will always leave you feeling more warmed up by encouraging energy to move to the body’s surface.

Bananas

Bananas are very healthy anyway, and they can also easily be sliced up and included in a nutritious oatmeal or porridge breakfast in the morning. They are also full of vitamin B and magnesium, which work to keep your thyroid and adrenal glands functioning properly. 

Your thyroid and adrenal glands are important when it comes to regulating your body temperature. So include a banana a day in your diet to help keep those shivers away during winter. 

Ginger tea

Okay, this isn’t strictly a food, but you can’t leave out something as effective as ginger tea when it comes to warming your body up. A cup of tea can be warming anyway, but when you add some ginger root to your brew it’s even better. Ginger is said to have a lot of thermogenic properties, all of which work to warm you up. Plus, ginger can also help to boost your metabolism and improve blood circulation. 

As well as ginger tea, drinking just cold water can actually help with warmth too. Yes okay, this does sound fairly counter-intuitive, as we tend to stay away from cold things when we want to heat up. However, water really helps to regulate your body temperature. Dehydration causes your body temperature to fall, so keep a glass of water to hand to ensure you stay warm and hydrated.

Honey

Having a daily spoonful of honey in some hot water can really help to keep your immune system strong. Honey is great for keeping coughs, colds and other illnesses at bay, plus it helps to keep your body warmer as well. 

Porridge

A nice hot steaming bowl of porridge in the morning can leave you feeling warm all day. It’s one of the best winter warming food options out there, and it’s also very healthy as oats can help lower ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol, which collects on the walls of your arteries.

Turmeric

As well as giving curry powder and mustard its strong yellow colour, this spice is chock full of antioxidants, which are great for keeping your immune system strong. It’s also known as one of the most effective herbs for warmth, as it’s said to help tighten tissues and absorb excess moisture. 

This healthy herb can work to give spicy foods like curries a kick, and it’s also been recommended to have with hot tea, to really warm your body up.

Check out our full menu here to get delicious, healthy and nutritious dishes, which can keep you fighting fit during the winter months.