Most of us treat winters as the nicest season of the year; good food and green leafy vegetables (for Indians, this is the season of the “Saag”).
However, the cold wind and breeze, which hits us often lead to chills and pain in the joints. Today, I am going to elaborate on the foods, herbs and spices which can keep you warm. People suffering from Raynaud’s pay special attention here… a) Joint pain is caused by a lack of Vitamin B-complex in the body. Add by eating whole grains. Also, this is combined with Vitamin-C deficiency. It's both Vit-B and Vit-C deficiency that causes the chilly feeling in the nerves. You can take both of these by eating sprouts with tomatoes, cucumber, cabbage and a dash of Vitamin C in the form of lime-juice. Furthermore, you can add some chopped almonds which will give you Vitamin-E also. b) If the joint pain is severe, try a rich source of Omega-3 Fatty Acids such as Flax Seeds.
c) To keep warm, take foods which take time to be digested such as complex carbohydrates, like oats, brown rice and porridge with vegetables.
d) Note that when we eat in the morning, heat is naturally released in the body which keeps us warm. So in the nights, avoid curd, rice, cucumber and banana. These are cold foods and not recommended. e) Herbs/Spices like black pepper, Ginger (Adrak), garlic, cayenne pepper are good for raising the body temperature. Veggies like Tomato, carrot and beetroot are also warming.
All the warming foods enhance the quality of the Pitta Dosha. Get regular 'Abhyangam', which is a whole body massage with cold-pressed oil (choice of oils are almond , sweet almond, apricot, sesame , mustard) which will keep you warm and lubricate your skin. Adding Mustard or Sesame seeds in your food or cooking in those oils is also good.
Exercise regularly in the cold season as that would help in better blood circulation. This is a good time to learn various Pranayamas if you have not done so. Find out what your dosha is, if you haven't already: Dosha Calculator
Additional Reading: Ayurvedic Cooking for Pitta Dosha How to Balance Pitta Dosha Kapha-Pitta Dual Dosha Balance