Six Indian spices that can warm you from the inside out in the winter - Hindustan Times

Six Indian spices that can warm you from the inside out in the winter

ByAbigail banerji
Feb 08, 2024 11:35 PM IST

Spices that can be incorporated into your daily diet that can help beat the illness that comes with cold season

India is known for its varied and plentiful spices as every state has something unique to offer. From savoury to sweet, these spices are multi-purpose and add a depth of flavour to the dishes they are added to. Apart from adding colour, taste, and flavour to the food you are cooking, spices also contribute to the well-being by providing a rich source of diverse nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. Their judicious use as cooking adjuvants ensures comprehensive nourishment for the body.

Add different spices to your diet to keep you warm and healthy(Unsplash)
Add different spices to your diet to keep you warm and healthy(Unsplash)

Dietitians Reena Poptani from Fortis Hospital Mulund and Sushma PS from Jindal Naturecure Institute, Bengaluru, share different spices that can be incorporated into your diet during the cold season.

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Add different spices to your diet to keep you warm and healthy(Unsplash)
Add different spices to your diet to keep you warm and healthy(Unsplash)


Rich in eugenol that is a natural compound with analgesic (can give relief from pain) cloves have anti-inflammatory properties. It can induce a warming sensation in the body as it helps improve blood circulation and stimulates the circulatory system and promotes blood flow.

To benefit from its warming effects, add cloves to your diet in the form of curries, tea, soups, etc.


Turmeric contains curcumin - a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound. It is associated with increased warmth in the body by promoting improved blood circulation and reducing inflammation. Some studies suggest that curcumin may have a thermogenic effect, potentially increasing metabolism that also contributes to the feeling of warmth.

Use fresh turmeric in vegetables and curries. Haldi powder can be added to lattes and coffees, as well as carb-loaded dishes like rice and pasta.


Believed to have thermogenic properties, meaning it may help generate heat in the body, cardamom can increase metabolic activity. Similar to cloves, cardamom may have a positive impact on blood circulation, ensuring that the warmth generated by the body is evenly distributed.

A mainstay in biryanis and desserts like gajar ka halwa, it can be used in bread for a savoury kick, to spice rubs for meats and even in coffee.


Known to act as universal medicine, ginger n Ayurveda has innumerable medicinal properties. It can help restore the appetite and can aid in digestion. Gingerol is an active compound that possesses anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, so it can reduce joint stiffness and pain in patients suffering from arthritis. Ginger can help maintain a healthy lipid profile. Due to the cold and pollution, chances of respiratory infections are high and ginger can help relieve congestion in the lungs and throat, and help clear the nasal passage.

Add ginger in daily diet by grinding it into curries, or drink ginger and lemon tea, ginger, tulsi and turmeric infused water, or add ginger powder in milk.

Black paper

Black paper is pungent and hot in nature and its healthy properties can attributed to a compound called Piperine. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, and has carminative properties that relieves flatulence, reduces bloating and improves digestion.

kali mirch is rich in Vitamin C and antibacterial properties, which combats cough, cold or flu, and helps boost immunity. When added to soups or warm drinks like kadha or taken with a teaspoon of honey, helps dilute mucus and reduces congestion. A pinch of black pepper added to Turmeric milk helps enhance the absorption of curcumin.


A miracle worker for the body's immune system, cinnamon has a bioactive component present in it called cinnamaldehyde. Cinnamon decreases cytokines and offers relief from arthritic pain. It also supports digestion, boosts blood circulation and normalises body temperature. According to Ayurveda, this spice has a sore throat penetrating quality that liquefies mucus or sputum and expels it from the body. it can help provide relief during asthma attacks.

Sprinkle cinnamon powder on yoghurt, fruits or oats, or infuse it in warm water with honey. Cinnamon tea can instantly provide a way to bring warmth to the body.

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