As the weather gets cooler, it is instinct to reach for a tin of soup or a quick brew to warm you through.
However, Heat Treats knows of a few other secret snacks which might just help you combat the cold this winter- and of course we want to share them with you!
The concept of ‘warming’ foods dates back to the ancient study of Chinese medicine (TCM), though it is still widely supported today.
Rather than classifying foods based on their chemical compositions (calories, fat content, proteins etc), TCM considers energy properties. TCM teaches that a balance of ‘cool’ and ‘hot’ foods, or ‘yin’ and ‘yang’ foods are essential to good health.
Here are some Heat Treats hot tips on the best ‘yang foods’ for you!
Ginger root is said to be one of the best foods for warming you through. In fact, a 2012 study published in the journal 'Metabolism' journal concluded the root enhances thermogenesis (the production of heat in the human body.)
It is also said to encourage blood flow which can help raise body temperature.
Ginger root is the perfect addition to a stir fry or soup and can also be added to a hot tea for extra warmth.
The warming qualities of porridge go much deeper than it simply being a hot meal. Oats are considered a crucial ‘yang’ food in TCM, with the grain said to be able to absorb excess dampness inside one’s body.
Even more reason to enjoy the classic winter warmer!
Whole Grains & Complex Carbs
Studies have found that consuming foods such as whole grains and complex carbs can have thermogenic effects.
The food molecules take much longer to break down than normal foods and encourage your digestive system to work much harder. This can increase blood flow and thus, body heat.
Foods such as potatoes and lentils are great examples to support this theory!
Coffee (Hot or Iced ?!)
Whilst it may seem logical to reach for a hot coffee when trying to fight the cold, if an iced coffee is more your tipple you may be able to get the same effects as a hot brew.
Studies have concluded that it is not the boiling water in coffee which warms you, but the caffeine.
Caffeine stimulates the release of fatty acids from our fat tissues which can raise body temperature.
A breakfast favourite, bananas are the perfect snack to kick start your day and prepare you for the first dreaded step outside into the cold.
Bananas are rich in magnesium and B vitamins which help the thyroid and adrenal glands regulate body temperature.
Their slow release energy capabilities encourage lasting effects too!
Long associated with healing in India, turmeric is known for its many benefits for the body and it is rich in anti-oxidants. It is regarded as one of the best warming herbs, as it is thought to tighten tissues and absorb excess moisture.
Whilst it is commonly used to spice up food such as curries, turmeric milk and turmeric tea are very popular and can be used as delightful warming drinks.
Sardines are a great alternate energy source to heat your body in winter, due to the high concentration of healthy fats and protein.
The healthy fats are stored in your reserves and broken down to generate energy which warms the body.