Apple: Makes an excellent warm food. Apple is rich in polyphenols such as quercetin that aids in digestive health. Apple consumption may be protective against cancer and asthma. It is high in soluble fiber and low in glycaemic index and hence beneficial for diabetics. It also helps to remove uric acid from the body. This can be consumed as a mid morning snack.
Onion: is the most popular ingredient in almost all cuisines across the globe. Helps to keep the body warm in winter. Onion is effective against many harmful bacteria and also serves as a food for many beneficial bacteria and thus helps to boost digestive health. Onion may also have some cancer preventive effects. A hot cup of onion soup would do complete justice to this warming food.
Garlic: It has anti-inflammatory properties and helps in blood sugar regulation. Also helps to reduce gas, relieve constipation, treat infection and is an excellent warm food. Garlic can be added raw or roasted in dips and dressings or cooked with foods.
Ginger: It has thermogenic properties that help keep you warm. It also helps to boost metabolism, promote blood flow and aids in digestion thus help against obesity. It can be added in tea or as a side dish
Nuts and seeds: are rich in phosphorus compounds, which are fuel for our batteries and are great warming fuel sources for cold weather for example almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds ,sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. These are best eaten as an evening snack or at bedtime snacking. Seeds and nuts can also be added in warm soups.
Bajra: is an excellent warming food and the potential health benefits of its consumption are weight loss, blood sugar balance and most importantly helps with digestive health. This can be consumed as a roti at meal time or as a chilla at snack time.
Tumeric: is known as a warming food and specifically a herb. It has a protective effect on the gut lining and liver. It helps the body to break down food that improves nutrient absorption. It helps to fight inflammation and helps to protect the heart and is beneficial for the treatment of arthritis. It also serves as antioxidant and is considered as a brain boosting herb. It can be added in herbal teas and is liberally used in Indian cooking such as curries, lentil dals, vegetables and soups.
Meats: lean meats like fish and chicken have a warming effect on the body. These proteins again have a thermogenic effect raising the body’s metabolism. These can be easily consumed at meal times or even added in soups.
Inputs by nutritionist Karishma Chawla