By Rachel Schwartzman, ND, L.Ac, Birth Doula
As the cold temperatures persist this winter, our bodies need a little extra support to help warm them up. I thought I’d share a few simple winter warm up ideas, to help keep circulation moving and your internal thermostat revving.
- Increase cooked foods. In Chinese medicine, it is believed in the winter we need to eat more cooked foods. It takes a lot of internal energy for our bodies to “cook” our food for digestion. By increasing cooked foods we help the body with the digestion process and thus conserve heat. This is a great time to have more soups, stews and cooked veggies. Adding greens to your cooked food is an excellent way to increase your meals nutritional value. If you are a real salad lover, try making a warming salad by adding some cooked vegetables onto that bed of lettuce, or steam greens and use those instead of lettuce adding some raw veggies on top.
- Cayenne. I personally am not a huge fan of the spice, but in the winter months I will gladly add a little cayenne to my food to get my blood moving. Add a pinch to soups, stews, stir fry’s or salad dressings. Cayenne is high in vitamin C, helping to boost immunity. If you’ve got a stuffy nose, spicy foods help to move out that congestion. Some people even sprinkle a pinch of cayenne into their shoes to help keep your feet warm. Just be careful not to burn yourself.
- Cinnamon. You likely have some cinnamon powder or sticks in your kitchen cupboard. It’s a wonderful warming spice that also stabilizes blood sugar levels and supports digestion. Simply sprinkle some onto oatmeal, cereal, soups or tea.
- Ginger. Ginger is another warming herb that promotes digestion, supports the immune system and helps ease aching joints. Try grating some fresh ginger into a cup of boiled water and add some honey and lemon to taste. This is a sure fire way to warm up your bones.
- Avoid peppermint tea in the winter. I know so many people love to drink peppermint tea, especially after a heavy meal, as it is a digestive aid. However, peppermint is very cooling to the body, and will actually make you feel colder. While this herb is great to drink in the summer months, I would recommend avoiding it in the winter months. Try chamomile or ginger instead.
Hope these tips help to keep you warm for the rest of winter season.
About Rachel Schwartzman, ND, L.Ac, Birth Doula
I am a licensed naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist and am passionate about helping people get healthy. In our fast paced world I truly believe a healthy body and mind starts with a healthy diet. My goal is to inspire healthy choices, be it from one person to whole families, in simple and easy to incorporate ways.
I am so excited about being part of the Cookin’ Greens community, as we truly are promoting health and wellness through food. Greens are the most important colour we can add to our diet. They are a powerhouse of nutrition loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre and are connected with so many health benefits, so make sure you eat your greens everyday!