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Warming up this winter will be harder than ever for most brits as rising energy bills become increasingly unaffordable. We all know the common tricks like slippers, knitwear, and endless cups of tea, but how can you really warm yourself up from within? Express.co.uk spoke to leading dietician, Sophie Medlin to find out.
How to increase body heat naturally
Layering up is an obvious way to keep warm while you’re stuck at home through the winter, but staying productive while wrapped in a snug throw can be a little trickier.
With the clocks due to go back in just one week, leading dietician and founder of City Dieticians, Sophie Medlin, says we need to do more than just adjust our sleep pattern to stay on top form through the colder months.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, she said: “Eating warm foods and drinks will mean that your body doesn’t give away its heat to bring them up to your internal temperature.
“In turn, this will help you maintain a warmer body temperature.”
While a cup of tea or a hot bowl of soup is bound to warm you up, foods that take longer to digest can also have a similar effect on your body temperature.
Sophie explained: “Whenever we eat anything, there is a process that occurs in the body called diet-induced thermogenesis.
“All foods cause a very slight temperature raise due to this process, which increases our metabolic rate to break down the food.”
Foods that are harder to digest increase our metabolic rate and temperature more significantly which may be why we feel less cold.
What to eat in the winter to keep warm
The fiery taste of ginger, chillies and other spices will certainly warm up your taste buds, but Sophie says the thermogenic impact of these ingredients is almost non-existent.
High protein foods in particular will create the largest change, as will alcohol which may be why we feel less cold when drinking. These include:
- Lean meat
High-fat foods cause a smaller change in metabolic rate and therefore temperature.
Sophie added: “Tea and coffee, due to the caffeine also create a very slight rise in body temperature, but the most important thing is to have warm food and drink when you’re cold to prevent your body from losing heat to the food.”
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Why you should eat seasonally
Eating seasonally will ensure that you’re getting the best nutrients available, so make sure you’re increasing your vitamin intake during the cold season.
Sophie commented: “It is worth making sure you’re eating some clementines and other fruits for extra vitamin C.
“We all need to take a vitamin D supplement in the winter months, so include foods that contain vitamin D like oily fish, liver, and some extra dairy into your winter diet.”
During the winter, we can often feel like we want to eat hot food more than cold – that’s where soups and stews come in and the slow cooker comes in hand, says Sophie.
Key nutrients for brain function include:
- B vitamins from animal products and green leafy vegetables
- Omega 3 from fish oil or algae oil
- Vitamin D for optimum brain function
Warming drinks – top picks
Knoops 100% Extra dark chocolate flakes (vegan) – £9.95 for 250g
London Nootropics premium adaptogenic coffee blends – £15 for 12 sachet box
MOJU’s Really Ginger Shot – 5.4g of raw, red-hot ginger root
Purearth’s Hot Shot – packed full of Vitamin C-rich lemons, ginger, oregano oil (anti-bacterial), and cayenne, just £2.99
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