The flavor of chilies 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Whether it be a steamy bowl of soup or a hot cup of tea, we all have our
tricks for keeping warm during winter. However, winter is also the most
common time to catch a cold or come down with the flu. So, here is a
list of five foods to keep you both hot and healthy this frosty season.
Sprinkle on some hot peppers
Chocolate is always a tempting treat after a few hours in the cold, but
what about hot peppers? Capsaicin, the substance that gives hot peppers
their pungent flavor increases thermogenesis – a process that helps to
boost the metabolism to turn food into energy faster by stimulating
circulation. As a result, the peppers raise our internal body
temperature, and make us feel warmer.
Chili peppers are also a
fantastic source of the immune-boosting Vitamin C, which help ward off
those nasty colds. Capsaicin in chili peppers has also been show to help
relieve headaches, including those brought on by clogged sinuses. Pour on the ginger
the most widely used and available herb on the planet, ginger hardly
receives the credit it deserves. For centuries people have used ginger
root to help ease sinus congestion. While there is no conclusive
evidence, it’s believed that the herb may promote mucus drainage.
Moreover, as a natural (and powerful) anti-inflammatory, ginger may help
to reduce swollen sinus membranes to assist in clearing sinus passages
and reducing sinus pressure. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also
help to ease chest congestion, which is also caused by inflammation
Ginger has also been shown to help relieve
stomachaches and nausea, both common side effects of the flu. But what
about making us feel warm on a bitter cold day? Well ginger helps to
improve circulation across the body, making you feel warm from the
Sip some green tea
tea has gotten a lot of attention over the years for its amazing health
benefits. Loaded with antioxidants, the tea has been found to help
fight cancer, but what about cold and flu?
top of mopping up free radicals that can attribute to cancer and
cardiovascular disease, green tea’s antioxidants also boost the immune
system. In fact a study published in Journal of the American College of
Nutrition showed that subjects taking a special preparation of green tea
as a capsule experienced 23 percent less instances of coming down with
the cold or flu.
Now it would make sense that sipping on a hot
mug of green would warm us up, but green tea has been proven to be more
effective than some other hot beverages. Preliminary studies have found
that green tea helps to boost the metabolism and stimulates the
thermogenic process. Munch on some baked apples
phrase “an apple a day will keep the doctor away” is most definitely
overused – but there is definite truth behind it. Loaded with
antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, apples help to ward off many different
diseases including a case of the sniffles.
Unlike in the summer, most
of us have less access to a large variety of vitamin loaded fruits;
however, apples are the one fruit that you can pretty much buy any
season. Now to turn your regular apple into a favorite winter treat, why
no bake it? Sprinkle some cinnamon on it for some additional disease
fighting substances. Cuddle up with a bowl of chicken soup
the years have been many myths about good old chicken soup – that it
fights off diseases, that’s its better than antibiotics etc. How much of
this is true is still up for debate. While no clear study has found
that chicken soup does indeed possess some magical disease fighting
properties, some research has indicated that chicken soup may indeed
help to reduce nasal congestion and ease inflammation in the upper
Now even if that is not the case for you, there is no
doubt that a bowl (or two) of chicken soup will leave you feeling warm
and cozy on a chilly day.