We all love a glass of cold fruit juice or extra scoops of ice cream every summer, and while they provide instant relief from the scorching heat, they may be pretty bad for your tummy.
The Science Behind This:
This mechanism something that both ancient Chinese and Indian medical practices are on board with. For healthy metabolism, whatever we consume must be close to our body’s temperature as our digestive enzymes work best in a particular temperature range. Whenever you have something ‘cold’, your body has to adjust the temperature difference to create a suitable environment for the enzymes to work. Not only that, when the ‘cold’ substance passes through the food pipe, it comes in contact with the hot vaporized lung fluid producing phlegm. If you regularly consume cold substances, you’re likely to have a lower body temperature which in turn prompts indigestion, poor appetite and weight loss. Plus, as the digestive tract takes more time to digest everything, it allows bacteria to fester, thereby causing a bloating in the abdomen or a gas problem.
According to Susan E. Brown, PhD, cold foods and beverages slow down the rate of digestion because they must be “heated up” before proper digestion can take place. “Cold beverages are removed from the stomach more quickly. Those at room temperature stay in the stomach longer. That is why marathon runners try to hyperhydrate and drink cold water before a race — to prevent from becoming dehydrated. Yet, if cold liquids move through at a fast rate, they do not aid digestion.”
This isn’t anything new, and has been practised by the Chinese since ancient times. In fact, we all know, ‘hot’ food also improves appetite, as the flavor and aroma are enhanced. Plus, even the sportsman Novak Djokovic’s secret to success lies in a diet of “mostly warm foods”
What You Can Do:
Simple. Say no to cold drinks and straight-from-the-fridge meals. This doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to ice cream forever, but just minimize your consumption. And wherever possible, heat your meal or drink. For instance, if you’re a caffeine addict and can’t do without Kopi luwak coffee beans or a daily Starbucks cuppa – instead of drinking expensive cold coffee to get a kick start, simply save your health and money by brewing a cup of piping hot coffee yourself. Similarly, as per Ayurveda, boil milk before drinking it and avoid carbonated beverages and you’re on your way to warmer and better health!