The weather is wet, cold and miserable. Grey skies and dark nights can make winter cold and dull, but winter eating doesn’t have to be be.
Kavita Pal, Managing Director of The Tree Hotel at Cadmore End, offers her advice on how to eat your way to a warmer winter.
1. It isn’t just hot food which warms you in winter. Also try to eat foods which generate heat energy, such as ginger which pushes blood flow to the skin’s surface and increases metabolic rate to help you to keep warmer. Try eating a Thai curry or drinking ginger tea to naturally warm yourself. Cayenne pepper and chilli also have this effect.
2. Grey skies and cold weather can lead to low moods in winter. Brighten up your diet with some citrus fruits and other reminders of summer in your diet. It will also help to boost the level of vitamin C in your diet which is great for fighting off the winter colds and flu.
3. To help keep your diet exciting this winter, why not create a ritual weekly or monthly meal out to look forward to? For example, set aside time to make it to your favourite restaurant or to try eating out somewhere new.
4. Soups have great warming properties, which can be made even greater by adding chilli flakes to them! You can play around with a traditional recipe and add to its warmth by using spice.
5. Garlic is a warming food, but its antibacterial properties also help to fight infections. Those prone to bronchitis and other chest infections are more at risk in winter when our immunity is lower, so eating garlic might help you stay healthy as well as warm this winter.
6. When we think of winter, we often neglect international cuisine and think of more traditional warming options. Spicy curries work wonders in warming us up, as well as keeping our metabolism high in winter when it’s inclined to slow down!
7. We like to drink more hot drinks in the winter months, so why not play around with different kinds of tea? Green tea has antioxidant properties as well as a great taste, so it’s good to take a break from standard tea and coffee and try something new. Cider is a great warming evening beverage! Try cardoman in a cup of tea to spice things up.
8. Eating enough fresh fruit can be tricky in winter, when warm puddings seem like a far more alluring option. Try stewing fruits such as apples and pears for a warm but healthy dessert.
9. If you are vegetarian, keep things interesting using alternative sources of protein. Beans and pulses are great for doing this, and keep your meals filling and warming. Mushrooms are also great for a protein rich vegetable.
10. Start your day with a slow energy breakfast which will release heat slowly and keep you warmer for longer. Porridge is great for a hot breakfast which will continue to release heat energy throughout the morning. Stir in fruit to help your way to five a day.
With thanks to http://cadmore.treehotel.co.uk