In cold winter weather, warm clothing in particular usually prevents us from freezing. But it's not always only the jacket, hat and scarf that keeps us warm - it can also be done differently. According to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), there are certain foods that have a warming effect. Below we will introduce you to the best cold killers and reveal which foods you should avoid in winter. Have fun with our anti-cold diet!
TCM: Warming Food
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is widely used in China as well as throughout Asia. But also in Europe meanwhile some methods of the TCM are established. This includes, for example, the acupuncture. Procedures like these are often used by non-medical practitioners, but are scientifically controversial.
According to TCM, there are yin and yang rich foods. Yin-rich foods have a cooling effect and are therefore popular, especially in summer. These include citrus fruits as well as cucumbers or tomatoes. In winter, on the other hand, we tend to use Yang-rich foods that warm us from the inside.
These foods warm from inside
No matter if it's meat, vegetables or drinks, you can find warming foods everywhere. In the case of meat, especially red meats such as pork, beef, lamb or game are said to have a warming effect. Still, you should not overeat it. Recent studies indicate that high consumption of red meat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Instead of meat, you should often grab a piece of fish: varieties such as herring, cod, plaice and tuna should be particularly warm.
For vegetables, especially varieties such as spring onions or leeks are recommended. In addition, winter vegetables such as beetroot or pumpkin have a warming effect. For fruit, you should choose plums, pomegranates and kumquats. In addition, chestnuts, hazelnuts and walnuts have a warming effect.
Attention: Anyone who sweats easily in the winter and suffers from high blood pressure, should rarely take warming food.
Fiery spices against the cold
Food is particularly warm when you are dressed with the right spices. In winter temperatures, the following spices are especially recommended:
- Dried ginger
- Caraway seed
Caution: For people who are struggling with hot flashes or have problems with their blood pressure and / or stomach, the spices mentioned are, if at all, only suitable in small quantities.
Not only the food itself, but also its preparation plays an important role according to TCM. Thus, a food should be able to store more energy, the longer it is cooked. Cooked, fried, stewed or baked foods are therefore preferable to raw food in winter. Most of the time, this decision is self-evident: While we prefer to eat crispy salads in the summer, we find stews and soups particularly pleasant in winter.
Those who often freeze should eat warm meals as often as possible. For example, for breakfast instead of a cold cereal, you can switch to a warm oatmeal or at least to toasted bread. At lunchtime you can grab some fried vegetables instead of salad and in the evening a hot soup or a warm stew is recommended.
Choose the right drinks
For drinks, especially freshly cooked teas ensure that we get really warm. But beware: even if all teas seem to warm at first glance, that is not the case. In any case, teas with spices such as anise, fennel, ginger, cardamom, caraway, cloves or cinnamon have a warming effect. Many of these spices are contained in the so-called yogi tea. Coffee and red wine should also have a warming effect, according to TCM - but both should only be enjoyed in moderation.
Caution: risk of cold!
If you feel cold in winter, avoid foods that have a cooling effect. This applies, inter alia, to the following foods:
- Tropical fruits such as lemons, oranges, pineapples or kiwis
- Raw foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower
- Dairy products such as yoghurt, milk or cream cheese
- Red, green and black teas and chamomile tea
Find the right balance
Even if you are cold from time to time in winter, that does not mean that you have to do without refrigerated food. However, it is important that you combine the food properly: For example, do not just eat a salad in the evening, but add the salad as a side dish to a fried piece of meat or fish. So you can easily find the right balance between cooling and warming food.
What else helps
Cold hands and cold feet are considered in traditional Chinese medicine as a result of an energy lock. On the one hand, to solve this blockade, you can resort to warming food. On the other hand, the TCM also recommends physical activity to get the energy flow going again. So go for a round and move yourself - that also provides warmth from within. And if nothing works, you have to grab a thick jacket, winter boots, gloves and more.