In order not to freeze, we dress warmly or turn on the heater. And what can be done more? Delicious, varied and not necessarily heavy - some food in the cold will help us maintain our strength and keep warm without external influences.Intuitively, we feel it, and experts in the field of nutrition confirm: food, like our clothes, is "summer" and "winter". To increase the caloric content of your menu is the most obvious way to keep warm. After all, calories are energy, which means a source of heat for the body. If one gram of proteins or carbohydrates contains only four calories, then in one gram of fat there are nine. Therefore, it is not surprising that in cold weather we tend to choose fatty foods more often. And it happens that the consequences of this choice are more durable than the winter season ... However, the winter, warming menu can include not only high-calorie, too fatty or sweet dishes. There are many products that give us a sense of warmth without adding kilograms. They act on the body as "the breath of a dragon," as the supporters of ancient oriental medicine put it. In Ayurveda, all products are divided into four categories: cold, cool, warm and hot, and this classification has nothing to do with the temperature of serving dishes to the table. Cold and cool fill the lack of yin energy and pacify the internal heat, while hot and warm feed the insufficient yang and defeat the cold. So you just need to choose well. Many spices (cloves, cinnamon, pepper, cumin, ginger), as well as products containing sulfur (onion and green, garlic, mustard), herbs (thyme, rosemary, bay leaf), nuts, beans, mushrooms, cereals (rice, buckwheat, oats), vegetables and root vegetables (pumpkin, carrots, potatoes, parsnips).
We are warming up, because these products affect thermogenesis - the mechanism of heat production in the regulation of the temperature of our body. In the language of Ayurveda, we say that spices and herbs kindle the digestive fire, and in terms of Western medicine - that they stimulate the secretion of enzymes. In fact, these substances trigger a whole chain of chemical reactions in the body. So, the secretion of digestive enzymes begins from the moment when the food enters the mouth: saliva is actively released, and the process of protein digestion begins, which ensures the regulation of the glucose level in the blood - the same glucose that gives us energy. Spices improve the process of digesting vegetables and legumes, and spices, especially peppers, have a vasodilating effect: as a result, blood circulation in the digestive tract improves, the body releases more enzymes, and they continue to work, warming us. Some substances stimulate our endocrine system, that is, the production of hormones by the body. For example, to better adapt to the cold, it is important to maintain the functioning of the thyroid gland. This will help oat flakes, ginger, seafood and seaweed. The thyroid gland is a real thermoregulator of the body. But it is not always easy for them to adapt to climate change: this can be explained by sudden attacks of heat or excessive chilliness. Phytotherapists are also advised to support the work of the adrenal glands, including cinnamon, spicy herbs (savory, thyme, rosemary), vegetables and fruits rich in vitamin C in their recipes, which will help us to adapt to temperature changes. What is especially important in winter is when we move from heat to cold for a few minutes.
Spicy herbs - the best thermogenics
Black, red, white and cayenne pepper, ginger root, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves, cumin, coriander, saffron and cardamom, curry, wasabi, horseradish, mustard ... These are all excellent thermogenic dishes. So the substances that warm us due to the acceleration of metabolism, including fat metabolism, are called. But still use them better moderately: spices not only contribute to harmony, but also fuels appetite. Nutritionists are not advised to drink ginger tea or generously chew piles of food with mustard just before going out. Thermojenics cause a rush of blood to the legs and increase heat emission. That's why we immediately feel warm. And for the same reason, we can supercool more quickly. Do not lean on spices in the evening: excess heat will prevent you from falling asleep and can lead to night sweats. But for lunch and early dinner, these products are ideal.
Soups are our faithful companions on cold frosty days. Vegetable broths, of course, are useful, but soups, cooked on meat broth in cold weather, are still better. This is because in meat rich soups contain much more essential amino acids and extracts that activate digestion. In the process of digesting food, a lot of energy is released, which also warms our body. After the soup is cooked and cooled, it is necessary to remove the fat layer from its surface. On taste, it affects a little, but after getting rid of it, the soup becomes noticeably less caloric, the cholesterol content decreases. To make spicy soup spices and condiments are perfect. Marjoram, thyme, cumin and rosemary contribute to an increase in the warming properties of the broth due to the essential oils contained therein. Roots are ideal for dressing, for example onions, parsnips, rutabaga, beets, which also have warming effects.