The weather has turned bitterly cold. Fortunately, Chinese medicine grew up in places with some of the bitterest winters imaginable and has great dietary advice to help us cope with the cold.
Eat your food hot and cooked
If your food is cold or raw, your body has to heat and cook it for you, before it can extract the nutrients that give you the energy you need to keep warm. Soups, stews and casseroles are ideal. Stir frying, boiling and steaming are also great cooking methods when time is short.
Nuts are packed with energy that our bodies can access quickly and keep using for hours. Chinese medicine recommends walnuts, chestnuts and pistachios in particular.
Spice it up
Warming spices do exactly that – warm us up. So, opt for recipes that include cloves, ginger, chilli, fennel seeds, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, horseradish, cardamom, rosemary, turmeric and nutmeg. However, it’s best to avoid these spices if you suffer with acid reflux or feel constantly hungry, as these symptoms mean your stomach is over-heating already!
Feed your Yang
If you feel the cold easily and your feet just won’t warm up, it’s time to feed your Yang. The best foods for the job are chicken, lamb, beef, shrimps, mussels, kidney, liver, lobster, prawns and anchovies. If your ankles are puffy, add corn, soya beans, kidney beans and millet.
Ditch the java
While it feels like coffee warms us up and gets us going, it is actually playing a cruel joke – spending all our energy reserves in a short period of time. Ultimately, it leaves us feeling colder and more tired than before. Feeling tired is a sign that we need rest, not caffeine!