Staying warm can be a challenge—especially during this time of year as our bodies transition from warmer weather to the wintry cold. Looking for how to stay warm in winter by layering your clothes is one thing, but sometimes the right food or drink to warm you up is the exact complement for a perfect winter setting. We’ve gathered a food guide with healthy teas and recipes that contain proven ingredients to keep you warm in cold weather. A note to remember is that just because a food is served hot doesn’t all make it a warming food!
1. Hwangchil Tea
Hot tea is an intuitive go-to drink for staying warm in the cold, but which ones are the best for the job? Hwangchil (Dendropanax morbifera) tea is one that can offer a one-of-a-kind drink experience, mixed with a robustly healthy reward that packs a powerful punch to keep warm. Use of Hwangchil tea dates back to ancient East Asian culture, where it was exclusive to the emperors. Due to its immensely healing property, it has been nicknamed the “1,000-year-old tea,” signifying longevity. Many teas that we’re more familiar with nowadays such as green or black teas, even when consumed hot, have an intrinsically cooling characteristic for the body. Hwangchil tea, on the other hand, is a naturally warm food that is the perfect drink for cold weather and for digestive benefits. Click here for how to prepare it and drink it, along with a meditation guide to pair with the tea.
2. Ginger Soup
Ginger has a long list of healthy benefits and is especially helpful when one is sick because of its natural property of being a warm food. Due to its thermogenic properties, it’s an extremely beneficial health food that increases blood flow, which naturally raises the internal temperature of your body. Raw ginger is said to have the best effects to keep you warm, but for those of you who aren’t keen to its biting taste, mixing it in some soup will give you the benefits while keeping it delicious. Not to mention...what’s a better food for cold weather than some soup? Ginger soup is a simple, healthy, and refreshing meal that’s easy to make and will warm you up in no time. This is a great warm food to eat while you’re sick, too. Throw in some of your favorite vegetables or meat (we recommend carrots, onions and beef, which have intrinsic warming properties too), and you’ll have a well-rounded and delicious dish for the season. Check this Ginger Carrot Soup recipe for inspiration.
3. Raw Honey Lemon Tea
Raw honey lemon tea is a healthy tonic that detoxifies your body while helping you stay warm. Lemons are widely known to cleanse the liver, and raw honey is a powerhouse of antioxidants, which boost the immune system and fights disease. It’s also a powerful natural antibiotic as it contains hydrogen peroxide, which is secreted into it by bees as they produce the honey. Raw honey is a naturally warm food that is soothing for the digestive tract and blends perfectly with lemon tea. Our recipe we recommend for the lemon tea is: slice half a lemon into two quarts of water and turn up the heat to high. Bring it all to a boil. Once the lemon water boils, turn down the heat to low and let the tea simmer for about 10 minutes. The tea is ready when the water turns yellow from the lemon juices. Pour some into a glass and add raw honey to taste.
4. Peanut Curry Chicken
Peanut Curry Chicken is a motherload of winter meals. Not only is it amazing and brings a bit of a kick, but almost all of the ingredients are warm foods like peanuts, chicken (can be swapped for a non-meat), cumin, rice, cayenne pepper, ginger, onion, turmeric and more. Here’s a quick glimpse how some of this recipe’s key ingredients are great for staying warm and makes for perfect food for cold weather.
Peanuts have high levels of vitamin B-3, promoting blood flow and boosting metabolism—both of which scientifically raise your core body temperature to keep you warm.
Cayenne peppers bring a lot of the spice to this dish, which makes you sweat from the heat. What makes cayenne a unique pepper is that its spiciness is actually good for the digestive system and an awesome anti-inflammatory health food.
Onions are a widely-used ingredient in traditional Eastern medicine to promote perspiration as well as combat against cold weather sickness. Onions are said to facilitate moving qi (energy) to the surface so you can keep warm.
Chicken, like other lean meats, is rich in iron, which your body needs to keep itself warm. (Think: Iron is in blood, and healthy circulation and condition of the blood is what keeps your body warm.) Those with iron deficiencies are known to have constant cold hands and feet.
Give these healthy warm food recipes a shot during your next family or friend event over the holidays, or simply on a cold day at home to treat yourself. We hope you’ll feel cozy and toasty when you try them! Post a comment about what are some of your favorite food or drink you have for cold weather to warm up. We want to hear from you!