Sip warm drinks before and after meals to maintain internal energy
For your stomach, drinking warm drinks in winter is the equivalent of wearing a woolly hat on your head or socks on your feet. In all three cases, it’s about preserving the body’s internal energy by preventing the loss of heat.health and fitness Updated: Jan 09, 2017 18:10 IST
Now’s the time to put that juicer or blender you got for Christmas to use concocting warming soups and hot drinks. In winter, drinking warm drinks can help maintain the body’s internal energy, which tends to dip during the cold months of the year.
For your stomach, drinking warm drinks in winter is the equivalent of wearing a woolly hat on your head or socks on your feet. In all three cases, it’s about preserving the body’s internal energy by preventing the loss of heat.
During the winter months, we often lack energy. It’s therefore a prime time to take care of your digestive system and kidneys, which are akin to the body’s internal power station.
The best trick is to sip warm, but not hot, drinks shortly before and after meals. Your digestive system will thank you for it. This good wintertime habit helps prepare and then assist the stomach in absorbing nutrients. It can also help prevent gas, bloating and full, heavy feelings in the stomach. Coffee should be avoided, because it suppresses appetite and irritates intestinal mucous. Tea, especially green tea, can prevent iron from food from binding effectively.
However, herbal infusions -- such as lemon, ginger, fennel, rosemary, aniseed and cinnamon -- heat up the body, invigorate and promote digestion. Depending on your tastes, infusions could replace sparkling water, fruit juices and sodas. Unsweetened plant milks (almond, hazelnut, soy, coconut) are also a good alternative for making tasty and warming drinks.
Keep kale, celery and chard for soups and broths
Tempted by an ice cream or a cold dessert? Instead, try tucking into a fruit puree at room temperature or a fruit tart warmed in the oven at the end of meal. Those who like yogurt and fromage frais can try adding cinnamon or cardamom to their dessert.
Plus, deep winter isn’t the best time to try one of the trendy cold juice detox plans. Although they may be rich in vitamins and minerals, they can disrupt the digestive system and its famous microbiota, especially if your fiber intake is usually very low. Not everyone has the “digestive power” to tolerate this kind of diet, which also lacks protein and fat.
Instead, try using kale, celery and chard to make vegetable soups. Winter is the ideal time to explore different varieties of vegetables. Root vegetables (carrot, parsnip, beetroot, turnip, radish, potato, sweet potato) are particularly mild on the stomach.
Fans of fruit smoothies are free to indulge, but lay off the ice and be sure to tune into your body’s reactions. There’s no point persevering with something that’s causing you problems or discomfort.
First Published: Jan 09, 2017 17:31 IST