Now the cold weather is well and truly setting in, it’s time to whack the heating on and fight off those chills in your bones with these foods – they should get your blood pumping and your body nicely warmed up.
Not only is it fiery if you get a good bite of it, but ginger also has thermogenic properties and is thought to increase blood flow. Grate it into hot lemon and water, and add to stir fries and desserts (pear and ginger crumble anyone?).
Nothing will give you food sweats like a spicy chilli pepper – and you can get a chilli fix in all sorts of ways. Add ground cayenne pepper to a drink of hot lemon, drizzle salads with chilli oil, have a spiced curry, marinate chicken in the stuff; just make sure it’s hot, hot, hot.
In traditional Chinese medicine, chestnuts are considered super nuts – full of vitamins and minerals, and great for boosting circulation. Eat them freshly roasted from the fire, or in stuffings and soups.
Roast them, puree them or mash them (they make a great alternative to potatoes). This trusty and cheap root veg is packed with potassium and fibre, and is great for heart, blood and bowel health.
Leeks, onions and garlic are all good sources of antioxidants and vitamins, perfect for warding off cold and flu, and known to boost blood flow and improve internal heat levels.
Get one that’s full of root veg (carrot and coriander, spicy parsnip etc.) and you’ll tick more than one box. Soup is not only easy to digest, but will swiftly heat you up from the inside out.
Beef, in particular, is considered the best meat for improving circulation, so a warming beef stew topped up with red onions, red wine and carrots, will not only keep you full and warm, but get your blood going too.