* The outcomes of this diet depend on the person's individual predispositions and cannot be guaranteed in every person. We advise you to consult your doctor before you start a diet programme.
Feeling cold? Try Low Carb foods to get nice and warm
Our body comes to a natural slowdown during cold winter months. The metabolism shifts into lower gear, we are low on energy, feeling tired and the idea of exercise doesn’t hold much appeal for us. The blood doesn’t flow as efficiently round the body, so we are more prone to feel cold, craving to get cosy and warm. We would just love to get tucked up in bed and not come out until the first signs of spring. It takes a lot of energy for the body to get warm. However, with the right diet containing “warming” foods you can give your body a helping hand. These types of food will help the body fight the cold, boost its energy levels and immunity as well as speed up its metabolism by up to 15%. This in turn will boost the burning of fats that will start to disappear fast.
Reset your body’s thermostat to Warm
You most probably have heard of foods that can warm us up as well as those with the opposite, cooling effect. The concept that the consumption of certain foods gives rise to the feelings of either warmth or cold in the body has been known and used for thousands of years by ancient Eastern civilisations, with traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda paying particular attention to it. However, we don’t need to travel that far to learn about this idea – even our own ancestors observed the effect of different types of food on the body and health during different seasons and used this knowledge to guide their choices.
In general, food has a warming effect on the body. This is because to digest the food the body produces energy that generates heat. That’s why it’s important that you eat regularly and, most importantly, that you don’t starve in the cold months of the year. Some foods require more energy to be digested, referred to as the thermogenic effect. It is these warming or thermogenic foods that, apart from increasing the body’s heat, increase the number of calories the body burns. What should your winter diet include then?
Protein will warm you up
The greatest thermogenic effect is found in protein-rich foods. They are the hardest for your body to process, releasing a lot of internal heat when being digested. According to research, protein-rich foods have a much greater warming effect than foods high in carbohydrates or fats. Make your choices low-carb then!
Make sure you eat plenty of meat during the winter season, preferably chicken, lamb or game, as well as fish, which has a really high protein content. If meat is not your thing, go for tofu or tempeh instead. Dairy products are also a good source of protein, however, they tend to have a cooling effect on the body. If you still want to have some, make sure you combine them with spices that will trigger the feeling of warmth in your body. For example, you might try adding some cinnamon, turmeric or ginger in your milk. Or jazz up your cottage cheese with a bit of horseradish or garlic and turn it into a delicious spread.
Vegetables – a dose of vitamins and a jumper in one
Yes, even vegetables can make you feel warm, you just need to pick the right ones. Forget cold salads and get cooking. It’s recommended that you eat your vegetables cooked during winter. Baked, stewed or grilled – you can enjoy them in a variety of delicious ways. The right choice of spices will further enhance the warming effect. Just add some thyme, turmeric or ginger and your taste buds will thank you.
Your diet should also include fermented vegetables, without any added sugar, of course. Not only will they warm you up, but thanks to their lactic acid bacteria they will also boost your immune system. Comes in handy in winter, right? Fermented vegetables often contain added horseradish which can really turn the heat up by a few notches giving your circulation a good boost. Packed with vitamin C, it will also help you keep a cold at arm’s length. Which types of vegetables are the best choice for winter?
Seasonal vegetables are your best bet:
- Savoy cabbage
As our grandmothers (and most likely their grandmothers) used to say: A meal without a soup is like a house without foundations. Their table wouldn’t be complete without a bowl of hearty, hot soup, especially on a cold day. This would often be served as the main meal of the day.
There’s nothing stopping you to enjoy your bowl of warm soup even in the morning. Start the day feeling nice and toasty.
Time to get spicy
Some spices are amazing warmers, so make sure you don’t miss out on them when planning your diet. Which ones are the best to get your blood pumping?
- Black pepper
- Caraway seeds
Our tip: Pour some coconut milk into a bowl and add a pinch of turmeric, cinnamon and some grated ginger or a pinch of cayenne pepper. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for a short while. Prepared in just a few minutes, this drink will warm you up and get you going in no time.
Drink hot herbal teas
Make yourself a cup of herbal tea. Not only is it perfect for keeping you warm from the inside out, but it can also help with some health issues. Go for thyme, wild thyme or camomile – all three herbs aid digestion and help keep bacteria and viruses at bay.
Coltsfootflower, limeflower or elderflower tea also have good warming properties. It’s a great choice when feeling a bit under the weather. You can also try Ginkgo biloba that will boost your blood circulation.
And let’s not forget ginger and its excellent antibacterial properties. A cup of ginger tea will quickly send beautiful warm waves throughout the whole of your body. Ginger can also be used to spice up meat and vegetable dishes.
Healthy fats also play a role in the regulation of body temperature. If your diet contains enough of them, you won’t feel cold. For this reason, make sure your diet contains nuts and seeds. Why not add some almonds, coconut, hazelnuts or walnuts in your protein mash or your favourite smoothie? A healthy and filling breakfast can be served! Or how about taking your warm vegetable salad to a new level by sprinkling it with some hemp seeds, linseeds, sunflower or pumpkin seeds?
As the first rays of the spring sun are still far in the distant future, let good food warm you up in the meantime. Our range of products that will help you fight the chill is really wide so feel free to get creative in the kitchen!
Author: Iva Karlovská
Photos: Iva Karlovská, KetoDiet
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