Like it or not, fall and winter are upon us once again. Leaves are changing and temperatures are dropping as we trade in our sweat for sweaters. Let’s be honest here — I’m not a cold weather person. At all. Anything under 70 degrees and you can probably find me in bed, wrapped up and shivering like a human blanket burrito.
It seems only logical to respond to this near-hypothermia by turning to the only thing that has never let me down: food. While conventional remedies such as the esteemed pumpkin spice latte (go ahead, embrace your inner basic b*tch) or a big bowl of soup (like these) might do the trick temporarily, try these 8 foods to increase your body temperature naturally and stay warm this fall and winter.
Ginger is said to improve your body’s circulation, which increases your temperature. This root is more versatile than you might think — I promise it comes in more forms than the pickled stuff that’s always left on your plate when you’re out for sushi. Add a bit of grated ginger to your tea or even smoothies for an added kick that’ll work wonders to warm you up. Sweet tooth? Try candied ginger; you can hardly taste the healthy.
You’ve probably heard a lot about coconut oil lately, as it’s pretty trendy in the health and culinary worlds. Known for its antiviral properties and healing effects on skin and hair, it’s also been proven to speed up your metabolism, boosting your core temperature in the process.
The magic is in the conversion of all those saturated fats (those are the good ones), which coconut oil offers in abundance. What doesn’t it offer, am I right? If you want even more ways to use it, check out this list.
That’s right, curing your chronic shivers is as easy as choosing brown rice the next time you’re at Chipotle, which I’m assuming will be fairly soon if you’re like me and basically live at the place. Because brown rice is a more complex carb than white rice, bread, or pasta, and it’s metabolized more slowly, which warms you up as you digest.
There’s nothing better than curling up with a cup of hot tea on a chilly day, so optimize your warmth by going green. The catechins (antioxidant flavonoids) and the caffeine in green tea put the color back in your cheeks when you’re borderline hypothermic. Find even more reasons to love green tea here.
If you can handle the heat, cayenne pepper will definitely do the trick on a cold day. It’s a chemical called capsaicin that makes these peppers so spicy, and what turns up your body heat when digested. Some people even swear by sprinkling cayenne pepper between their shoes and socks to keep their feet warm in cold weather. A little unorthodox, perhaps, but hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.
Well, would you look at that? Garlic can do more than protect you from vampires. Like ginger, garlic is known to increase circulation, preventing blood from clotting and giving you the temperature boost you’re looking for. Enjoy it in all your favorite Italian dishes (garlic rolls, yes please). Just be sure to keep some gum on hand, all right?
Let’s get one thing straight: Oatmeal is not just “for old people”. Being a huge oatmeal fan myself, I’ve had plenty of people ridicule my breakfast habits as one reserved exclusively for the elderly, which really is just plain wrong.
Especially in the fall and winter, there’s no feeling like crawling into bed with a steaming hot bowl of oats before class, each bite warming not just my insides but my soul. Okay, that was dramatic. But seriously, don’t knock it ’til you try it. You can even upgrade your oatmeal like this.