The Best Comfort Foods For Winter Will Keep You Warm, No Matter What The Weather's Like

Even though I've lived most of my life on the East Coast, I do not like the winter. And as many of us who live in the wintry parts of the U.S. have felt, the cold weather has been painfully and frigidly bonkers lately. While it's important to get a little air from time to time, there are some winter days when a gal simply has to stay inside. This means popping on a fleece robe and stocking up on the best comfort foods for winter. Trust me, winter cooking is all about the recipes that will make you feel warm from the inside out.

You also might notice that, during the wintertime, along with craving cozy meals, you feel straight-up hungrier, too. According to research published in The European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, your overall caloric intake tends to go up in the colder months. But is eating more in the winter something that we as humans are biologically inclined to do to keep warm, or are we simply in need of a little extra comfort during this time of year? That, the study authors suggested in their paper, is still up for debate.

Either way, it sure does feel good to sit down with a warm pot of stew or some hot cocoa in the thick of a cold snap. Try some of the below, expert-recommended suggestions, and enjoy the cozy, satisfied vibes that follow.

Make Some Hot Cayenne Pepper Oatmeal
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"Oatmeal in itself is warming in the morning, but [you can] add a pinch of cayenne pepper for lingering warmth," says Colleen Wysocki-Woods, MS, a registered dietitian/nutritionist and owner of Zest Nutrition. "Within minutes of eating, you'll feel the heat circulate throughout your body and remain warm for about 20 to 30 minutes."

Have A Yummy Piece Of Cinnamon Toast
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A little shake of this wintry spice can warm you right up. As Claudia Sidoti, head chef at HelloFresh, tells Elite Daily, there are certain spices that have a thermogenic effect on your body, meaning they actually heat up your core temperature and increase blood circulation. "This is why we tend to associate warming spices with the fall and winter months, because of their warming effects," Sidoti explains, and apparently, spicy-sweet cinnamon is one of the best thermogenic spices out there.

Put some in your hot cocoa or make a delicious plate of cinnamon toast.

Get Wild And Try Yerba Mate Chicken Soup
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"Argentine yerba mate is an antioxidant-rich tea that offers a myriad of health benefits, many of which will help to reduce the chances of coming down with a cold, and help [with] simply staying warm on winter’s coldest days," says Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Nutritious Life.

Yerba mate can boost your immune system, Glassman adds, as well as your focus and energy, which can really come in handy in the cold, dark, winter months.

But if you don't dig the taste of the tea, that's totally fine. Glassman says that another great way to use yerba mate is to cook it right into a delicious chicken soup. Her favorite recipe includes lots of cilantro and garlic, too, which, yum.