How to stop feeling cold, foods and tips for staying warm in winter naturally

Natural remedies can be very helpful when it comes to not feeling cold in winter: here are some ways to keep the body warm, at home and outdoors, including what to eat to increase body heat.

In winter or in cold weather, some people cope with low temperatures worse than others, constantly needing to accumulate heat and warm their bodies up both on the outside and inside. Along with wearing appropriate winter clothing, we can use natural homemade remedies as well as eat certain foods and spices to help us to get through the coldest days without too struggle.

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How to fight the cold: there are many ways to warm up naturally, like eating foods that generate body heat or wearing the right winter clothes © Unsplash

Tips for staying warm in winter and cold weather

Generally, this problem is more common with women who, due to a physiological characteristic of female energy (yin), feel and suffer the cold more. The regular consumption of foods that increase body heat helps keep up the energy levels of people who are prone to feeling cold and who, as a consequence, risk incurring in a general state of malaise, fatigue, with cold extremities and, last but not least, a higher likelihood of catching a cold or the flu. Food is equal to heat and thermal energy, so we should pay attention to what we eat, trying to choose yang-energy foods (which heat us up), and leaving all those foods that have yin energy (which cool us down) to warmer seasons.

What to eat to keep the body warm

In terms of spices, opt for typically wintry ones, such as cinnamon and cloves, used extensively in the making of desserts and teas, as well as for thyme, chilli, pepper, ginger, marjoram and cumin. In fact, we can find great commercially available blends that contain all the necessary ingredients to prepare an excellent warming infusion. Another great addition to our list is fennel.

Always choose hot drinks, both during the day and at mealtime, when it’s also advisable to prioritise hot soups, made with vegetables or beans and perhaps with a few spices, which will help fuel our inner “fire” to keep the body warm.

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Cinnamon is a great spice to combat the cold © Ingimage

What should be avoided is eating too many foods that cool the body down, such as chilled drinks and cold foods: even citrus fruits, which, though beneficial because of their high vitamin C content, have notoriously cooling effects. We suggest not to eliminate them from your diet but to alternate with more yang foods, to return heat to the body. However, if you suffer badly from the cold, shift consumption of these foods to other times of the year.

How to keep the body warm at home

During the coldest days you can try a drink that will bring balance and help you gain “heat” and well-being. It is consumed traditionally and commonly used as a macrobiotic remedy, perfect for when the cold has seeped into your bones, causing a feeling of illness.

Simply follow this recipe: prepare a bancha or kukicha tea and add a teaspoon of kuzu, the starch drawn from the root of the Pueraria lobata plant, after diluting it in cold water. Return the pot to the fire and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes, until the tea goes back to being transparent. Add an umeboshi plum, a teaspoon of organic shoyu, and 10/15 drops of fresh grated ginger. Drink it hot and the effect will be immediate. It’s also worth trying as a remedy for a bad cold, its effectiveness will surprise you.

Use fresh ginger to make hot drinks and protect yourself from the winter cold © Ingimage

Ways to stop feeling the cold outdoors: what to wear

Clothing is extremely important and during winter it has to be adequate both for adults and for children. Adequate clothing allows us to keep body temperature constant and gives us a pleasant sensation of heat that will lead us to not heating our homes excessively, a habit that can have negative effects on our health as well as the environment.

Wool and silk are thermo-regulating and highly absorbent, perfect for children who sweat easily. These two fibres allow for great breathability, a mechanism that transfers the skin‘s humidity outwards and keeps body temperature constant, a fundamental requirement to allow still-developing bodies and organs to grow strong and healthy. We advise to opt for t-shirts, both long- and short-sleeved, made of merino wool, derived from sheep in uncontaminated areas, and silk, considered the “queen of fibres”, which is hypoallergenic and antibacterial. Truly delicate and light to the touch, simple garments made of merino wool and silk are the perfect combination to keep warm during winter.

Warm, soft merino wool, the most natural way to defend ourselves against the cold © Ingimage

Cold hands and feet, causes and natural remedies

Many people complain of constantly cold hands and feet. This is undoubtedly an individual characteristic that may be related to circulatory or hormonal issues, or could simply be the result of a sedentary lifestyle, either chosen willingly or, perhaps, not. Whatever the cause, in addition to following the above tips – hot herbal teas and infusions, woolly socks and a good pair of gloves, perhaps a woolly hat as well – there are a few precautions that might improve the situation.

A good daily walk is always a good idea, after having rubbed your hands and feet with a dry flannel to warm them up, and where possible you should avoid taking the lift, because climbing a few stairs can be very beneficial. Massaging hands and feet every day also helps, and for extra warmth add a few drops of cinnamon or ginger essential oils to a neutral cream or almond oil. Take care to always dilute these oils and not apply them directly because their rubefacient action, which reddens the epidermis, could lead to congested skin.

Use chilli seeds in a footbath and your feet will feel warm and toasty © Ingimage

Remedies against the cold, how to keep warm naturally

Footbaths should also be considered, both as a way to warm up and as a moment of relaxation for the entire body. When circulation slows down, energy tends to concentrate in the core, and adding chilli seeds to a footbath can be a great remedy to restore energy and reactivate blood flow. In a basin, add hot water and a teaspoon of chilli seeds; even a small amount of fresh grated ginger. Don’t be alarmed if you perceive a tingling feeling or if your skin reddens slightly. This may not even occur, as it varies from person to person, but you’ll surely enjoy this remedy’s benefits.

Alternating hot and cold water in the shower can also have an excellent effect on body heat, especially when your extremities are really chilly. Perform the alternation for about ten minutes, until your circulation has reactivated fully.

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