The cold weather menu: food to keep you warm

Monday, 05 December 2016.

The cold weather menu: food to keep you warm

When the weather is cold, certain foods can help increase body temperature.

In fact, the right diet can help us stay warm.

Digestion lasts several hours, and generates heat - the amount of heat produced depends solely on the type of food and the calories it contains. 

Soups, especially bean soups, are among the best options in cold weather. Meat soup with rice is also very warming, but even soups without any protein, like most vegetable soups, can keep us warm, if temporarily. However, warm soup has immediate effects.  

Hot peppers can also increase body temperature, and stimulate circulation, thereby increasing body temperature. People with ulcers have to be careful about consuming hot foods, however, though black pepper can also be useful, because it contains a substance which affects the nervous system.

Pootatoes, carrots, and beetroot are more difficult to digest, and require more energy, so they, too, help bring body temperature up. Herbs and spices such as cinnamon and garlic also help. 

Contrary to popular belief, alcohol does not warm the body, but causes blood vessels to contract, causing the body to lose heat, making us feel even colder than before. 

 

Be careful though: heating foods can make you pile on the pounds.

Cold increases our appetite, because we need more calories to keep body temperature stable in cold weather. We need t control our appetite, or we may run into problems. During the winter months, average weight increase is 0.5kg, but can be as high as 3-4 kg. So, be careful and consume heating foods within reason.