[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Let’s face it – the cold weather has well and truly hit home now, hasn’t it? The nights are getting colder and darker and we’re all well past debating whether or not the heating should be on. The heating bills are going up and life is just dreary and dull right now… And that’s before you’ve even begun to think about what you’re buying who for Christmas.
At this time of year, every little helps to warm you up and lift your spirits and for those of you that are waking up each morning with a sense of dread for the cold day ahead, there is good news afoot.
For example, did you know that your diet could have even more of an effect on your mood and your body temperature than you first may have thought…? Intrigued? We thought you might be so we decided to delve a little further.
Food is very important and during the colder months, you should be looking at increasing the amount of certain foods you are eating. Sweet potato and carrot, for example, helps the body produce vitamin A with the amount of beta-carotine they contain, and this helps to boost your immune system during a season where colds and flu are rife.
There are even a few herbs and spices that can help you warm you up from the inside out during the cold weather! In fact, herbs are known for either their ‘cooling’ or ‘warming’ nature, which is why you often hear them described as such. Why not take a peek at some of these and look at adding a few extras into your evening dish?
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”943″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]Normally associated with Christmas (see – warmth again!), ginger is not just good for easing morning sickness in pregnant women (or an upset stomach in general), it has also been shown to help improve the circulation of your blood. When you have good circulation, you won’t feel the cold as much, and it also helps to relax tense and shivering muscles. If you use a ginger-fragrances bubble bath, it will make you feel a lot warmer and more at ease, and it may even help you with the colds and flu too! Plus it helps to raise your immunity against infections. Ginger biscuits anyone?
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Another antiseptic and antioxidant (helps to prevent cancer), there is actually a scientific reason why garlic helps to warm you up. It is known as a vasodilator, and a pretty potent one at that, which essentially means that it stops your blood from clumping together, promoting better circulation and once again, ups your basal body temperature to make you feel warmer. Smart, right?
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”940″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]If you’re not normally a fan of sprinkling some black pepper on your food, you might want to start getting into a habit it. Falling in the same ‘warming’ category as garlic, ginger and even cardamon and cayenne pepper, this has once again got those antioxidant and antiseptic properties that we’ve discussed so much, but once again help to improve the circulation to heat things up from the inside.
Speaking of which, if you’ve got any cayenne, black or chilli pepper in your cupboard, you could always sprinkle some in your hot chocolate for a real warmth-kick. You can get chilli chocolate these days so why not kill two birds with one stone and have a warm and soothing hot chocolate with a hearty dash of something spicy to liven things up? You’ll be amazed at how warm you’ll start feeling.
[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image border_color=”grey” img_link_target=”_self” image=”941″ img_size=”large” alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_column_text]Cardamon falls into the same warming herb and spice bracket as the ones we have already mentioned, and in fact you could also look at mustard, cumin, paprika, turmeric and chilli flakes in the same way. These work in much the same way as green tea does (another great winter-warmer) to speed up your metabolism. When things speed up, they tend to get hotter, hence why they will make you feel the warmth.
Most of the herbs and spices that we have discussed here can easily be added to dinner dishes, teas, hot chocolates, and more making it even easier to warm things up when you are feeling the cold the most. And you know what, it’s much more difficult to be grumpy when you are warm and comfortable!
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