If you’re reading this pretty much anywhere in the United States, chances are it’s cold outside. Believe it or not, all but one of the 50 states has seen snow this winter (Florida being the lone state to be spared). If just looking out the window makes you shiver these days, the best way to battle freezing temps outside is to warm yourself up on the inside. How do you do that? By “diet-induced thermogenesis,” of course—which Planet Green’s Melissa Breyer says is heat generated by the body during the digestion, absorption, and metabolization of food—in other words, eating.
To keep yourself toasty on the inside, try these particularly thermogenic foods:
Ginger gets its spicy flavor and thermogenic quality from its combination of two pungent compounds: gingerol and shogaol. Many swear by it for relief from headaches and digestive troubles, but the gnarled ginger root is also great for warming the body up on a cold day. For extra warmth, try a cup of ginger tea or treat yourself to a handful of crystallized ginger, nature’s candy with a kick.
Coconut oil definitely isn’t a low-fat food (one tablespoon contains 117 calories and 13.6 grams of fat), but its “medium chain” fatty acids are touted for a long list of health benefits, including increased immunity, speedier healing and—remarkably—weight loss. Add thermogenic properties to coconut oil’s perks and you’ve got yourself one powerful salad topper.
Thanks to its high level of caffeine, a steamy mug of green tea will pick you up as it warms you up. Along with the antioxidant flavonoids called “catechins,” it’s the caffeine that also gives it thermogenic properties. To give your body temperature a boost at mealtime, try recipes that feature green tea in the ingredients.
For more foods that warm you up from the inside out, check out planetgreen.com