How to stay warm during the winter months

13 December 2013 No Comment

Foods, herbs, and other alternatives to blasting your heater!

There are plenty of foods to cook, spices to use, and teas to drink that will do wonders keeping your body warmer, healthier, and stronger through these chilly days that are here at last.

 Herbs and spices are a good place to start, as it’s easy to simply add warming herbs to foods you’re already cooking.

Some herbs to add to your winter cuisine or to use as teas are:

  • ginger
  • cinnamon
  • cardamom
  • nutmeg
  • seaweed (mineral-rich!)
  • black pepper
  • rosemary
  • sage

Each of these herbs are warming and/or good for the respiratory or cardiovascular system, and most of them have a long list of various medicinal benefits.  Research them- it’s fun!

 

Raw garlic provides a lot of heat, and is also one of the very best things to eat for overall health.  Among many other properties, it is antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and blood-pressure regulating.  Read more: http://bit.ly/1kGSoKb.  Cooking garlic does “water-down” the beneficial properties of garlic, though I’m not discouraging you from cooking it, rather suggesting you also add raw garlic to any savory dish.

If you have a hard time adding raw garlic to your diet due to flavor or a sensitive stomach, a good way to eat it is to dice up a clove or two very well, scoop it onto a spoon, and cover it in honey.  That way, the garlic is coated and doesn’t have direct contact with the walls of your stomach (ouch!).  Also, honey (natural, not artificial, of course) has it’s own medicinal properties: mineral-rich, antiseptic and antibacterial, etc.

Try this winter health tonic, especially if you’re feeling under the weather::

  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 T honey
  • heavy pinch of cayenne (promotes circulation and provides heat)
  • squeeze of lemon juice (for flavor, vitamin C, antioxidants, antibacterial, antiviral, immune-boosting, need I say more?)

Stir together in a shot glass with a fork.  You’ll probably have to add water to thin it out.  Swallow it all, and repeat daily.

Other suggestions:

Soups are one of the best things to eat in the winter… they are warm, nutrient and mineral rich, and provide liquid.  Use potatoes, grains, beans, vegetables, seaweeds, meats, dairy and herbs! (Within your dietary preferences).  The humidity of cooking and baking also keep the nasal passages moist, which helps prevent sickness.

 Other warming things to do are get exercise (ever try seasonal yoga? or outdoor winter walks/hikes?), be around fire, and to keep hands, feet and head well-covered, according to grandma and grandpa.

Find ways to enjoy this chilly season; it does not last long here and there are things to see that can only be seen this time of year!  Happy holidays!