Written by: J. Vigotsky
With temperatures dipping below 0°F throughout much of the United States, people are doing whatever they can to stay warm. While hot showers and sitting by roaring fireplaces are great ways to increase your body temperature, you can also do so by eating certain foods and drinking specific beverages. The following list contains 7 foods and drinks that will help keep you warm during the cold winter weather.
The digestion of brown rice will also lead to an uptick in warmth for your body. The complex carbohydrates found in brown rice require significant effort to digest and are metabolized relatively slowly. This means an eater’s body will be working hard for longer periods of time, which results in a warmer core body temperature. Other complex carbs like quinoa, potatoes, and lentils can also help you feel warmer, but simple carbs such as white rice and pasta aren’t nearly as helpful.
Maybe the last food you’d expect to see on this list, ice cream will heat you up so long as you can deal with the food’s initial chill. Similar to complex carbohydrates, the fat packed into ice cream takes more time and energy to digest than most foods. Time spent digesting the fat is time your body spends working and expelling energy. When your body uses energy to digest, you’ll naturally get warmer.
Chock-full of healthy HDL cholesterol, coconut oil will increase your internal temperature and can be consumed in a wide range of ways. To seamlessly implement coconut oil into your diet, you can use it as salad dressing, granola topping, or even cooking oil. Offering brown rice cooked in coconut oil is one sure-fire way to heat up your customers. And if you don’t want to integrate coconut oil into any of your dishes, you can always offer a spoonful on the house. Coconut oil has a variety of other health benefits that make it even more appealing.
This root packs a spicy punch, but it’s the effect ginger has on your circulation system that makes it a great remedy for cold weather. By improving your blood flow and circulation, ginger increases your body’s core temperature. Part of the reason why ginger is so good at raising body temperature is because it features heat-producing oils called gingerols. There are a myriad of ways to consume ginger, including tea, cookies, bread, and more. You can even use ginger as an additive in sauces and other items.
While any hot beverage will help warm you up, coffee has a special ingredient that can kick-start your internal heating mechanism. Stimulating your metabolism, the caffeine in coffee causes the release of fatty acids, which heat up your body. This is even truer with iced coffee, which usually has more caffeine than a hot cup of Joe. Even so, we can’t fault anyone for opting for hot coffee when the temperatures dip below freezing.
For immediate heating up, accept no substitute. Soup might not last as long as other foods on this list, but it’s the ultimate choice for hungry diners who’ve just come in from the cold. The ideal situation is having a nice bowl of soup to warm up, followed up by a complex carbohydrate that will help keep you warm for the long run.
This zesty spice boasts high amounts of capsaicin, a vanilloid that’s been proven to increase core body temperature. Cayenne pepper is almost always consumed as a powder and goes great with anything that can tolerate a dash of spice. Dishes like tortilla soup, fish tacos, nachos, chili, and southwestern rice all benefit from even just a pinch of cayenne pepper.
What Won’t Work:
Beer, wine, and liquor have long been touted as ways to warm up amid cold winter weather. Unfortunately, the effect of alcohol on the body is rather short-lived and not as helpful as its reputation might suggest. While a stiff drink can help you initially feel warmer, it actually lowers your body’s core temperature. Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate, which moves blood flow closer to your skin. It’s this reaction that results in people perceiving an increase in bodily temperature. But since that hot blood is actually now farther from your body’s core, your core body temperature will decrease. This might be fine if you’re indoors at a log cabin. But if you’re out in the mountains looking for a quick way to stay warm, you should opt for something other than alcohol.
Restaurants and food services might want to consider offering discounts on these items to drum up business during the slow season. Make sure to let patrons now how these foods and drinks can help keep heat them up and provide protection against the cold winter weather.