Warm nights snuggled with hot cocoa by the fireplace during shivering winter months with frosted ice glistening on the windows can be a cozy feeling. However, the constant sniffles and nasty fevers that often try to tag along are not so ideal. With that being said, enjoy a few tips below that may help you survive the cold this winter.
Foods that take longer to digest may help raise your body temperature. This process is called thermogenesis. The increase in body temperature, produced by food metabolization, is transposed into body heat that leaves you feeling warmer. Therefore, keep a lookout for complex foods that are rich in protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Yes, carbs!
- Sweet Potatoes
- Root vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, require more energy to be properly digested, which results in an increased body temperature. Not only do sweet potatoes have a positive impact on your eye health, but they also provide essential dietary fiber.
- Ginger Tea
- It makes total sense that ginger root is harvested in the fall since it can benefit our bodies in a season of sniffles. Simply chop your fresh ginger into smaller pieces and steep in water for at least 10 minutes. Either remove the ginger with a slotted spoon or leave in your teacup as you sip all the glorious benefits. Sweeten your magical tea with a little local honey or 100% pure maple syrup to enjoy the anti-inflammatory gingerols that can help quickly relieve any signs of a sore throat. Already sick and ready to combat this cold quickly? Try drinking 3 to 4 cups of fresh ginger tea daily until your symptoms are relieved. For smaller children, just reduce the concentration of the amount of ginger to water ratio. Ginger also contains salicylates, which may act as a blood thinner since it is a common chemical in aspirin.
- Throw some sprouted oats or other whole grains in a blender to make flour for your delicious vanilla-infused fluffy pancakes or waffles. Make it extra delicious by tossing on chopped kiwi, strawberries, and bananas. A heart-warming porridge with oats is also an excellent source of fiber that can improve your cholesterol, as well as keep you fully satisfied until lunchtime.
- Drink Water
- Water is the easiest way to keep your body functioning properly this winter. Therefore, it is essential to drink appropriate amounts of water each day to keep your body temperature regulated and flush your system of toxins. Investing in a water bottle will remind you to drink more water as you carry it around with you everywhere you go. Fun fact: dehydration can cause a dramatic drop in your core temperature, which induces hypothermia. Acetaminophen used for fever reducers and cold medicines may increase dehydration, so keep a watch on your water intake.
- Butternut Squash
- Brimming with high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and many other nutrients, butternut squash may boost your immune system. Try roasting it in pure maple syrup to enhance your dietary fibers that will keep your digestive system strong. Maple syrup is often referenced as a sugar substitute for diabetics, but be certain your maple syrup is tapped directly from the tree without added sugars, and always check with your doctor.
- Need some immediate warmth and energy? Start your morning right with a hot cup of joe that’ll warm your ice tingling hands. Whether hot or cold, the caffeine in coffee is the key to increasing your metabolism to ultimately raise your body temperature.
- Magnesium and vitamin B are just a few of the minerals that are hidden inside those tasty bananas. In fact, many nutrients found in bananas are essential to the regulation of your adrenal glands and thyroid, which affect your body temperature.
- Fish & Eggs
- Try incorporating more fish, such as wild salmon, and farm-fresh eggs into your weekly grocery list to increase your intake of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is an important contributing factor to healthy-functioning immune systems. They may also reduce fatigue and naturally produce energy.
- Swap Out Sugar for Healthier Substitutes
- As the holiday festivities wind down, there is no need to constantly resist the subconscious urge to accommodate your daily sweet tooth. Instead, simply replace the sugar in your teas and baked goods for local honey or pure maple syrup. For instance, try replacing your favorite ice cream for vanilla bean yogurt with blackberries. Or how about slicing up a few naturally-sweet Honeycrisp apples?
Keep active this winter by incorporating these tasty foods in your diet to fight off that unwanted cold. Until the spring blossoms, stay warm and stay full!