By Dr. Kathleen Regan, ND
1. Cardamom: You may know the taste of cardamom from chai tea. It is a member of the ginger family long used as a warming stimulant. It is specific for damp weather. Grab a chai tea to start your day off on a warm note.
2. Cayenne: Hot, hot, hot! This spicy herb can be added to curries, stews or soups. It will increase circulation and facilitate the flow of blood to the hands and feet… keeping you warm. It is also excellent at fighting sore throats, colds and chest infections. But a caution – too much cayenne can cause sweating which will cool you down in the long-run. It is no surprise that this plant is native to the hotter climate of Central America.
3. Cinnamon: This sweet spice helps with tiredness, chilliness and poor immunity. A great herb to be using all winter long – it also helps to balance blood sugar and fight depression. Add this to your morning oatmeal or smoothie.
4. Fennel: Mildly warming but easily accessible and excellent taste. Fennel is not as strong as ginger but can still help to keep you on the warm side. It also helps to heal stubborn cases of bronchitis and chest infection that are common in the winter.
5. Ginger: Warming and Stimulating, the fresh root of ginger is suited to people who feel chilly. Add this to your soup or tea. Ginger can also help to calm an upset stomach – bonus!
Additional Tips: Remember the winter is a time for warming and well-cooked foods such as spiced oatmeal, soups, stews and curries. A surplus of raw food, cooling juices or fresh salads will cool you down. Eat these foods at lunch or during the day when your digestive function is at it’s peak. Try to have warming meals for breakfast and dinner.