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Food & Drinks: Temperature Matters

How does the temperature of food affect your health? Warmer weather is here, and as the seasons change, the temperature changes from cold winter (yin) temperatures to warmer spring/summer (yang) temperatures.

For some people, their intake of cold-temperature food and drinks increases as the weather gets warmer. However, few modern Western cultures are aware that cold temperatures can be the cause of much discomfort.

Many people are not aware of how an intake of cold-temperature food and drinks creates uncomfortable physical symptoms such as asthma, sinus allergies, joint pain and stiffness, menstrual cramps and fatigue after eating.

Picture what happens to an ice cube when it’s placed in a glass of 98-degree water, which is about the temperature of the human body. The ice pops and cracks, and can even cause the glass to break. which is similar to the effect it has on your body. From a Chinese medicine perspective, consuming too much cold food and drink impedes the progress of digestion and elimination. This can cause severe abdominal pain, menstrual cramps, frequent urination, cold limbs, joint pain, diarrhea and fatigue. In time, these symptoms drain your energy and leave you with an overall feeling of malaise.

One Optimal Health patient, suffers from asthma and has required a bronchial inhaler for many years, but his symptoms stabilized after several acupuncture treatments and the elimination of cold drinks from his diet. Now, his asthma only flares up when he indulges in ice-cold beverages or ice cream. When this happens, he simply reverses the symptoms by immediately drinking hot water with a slice of ginger or ginger tea to counteract the coldness.

Another Optimal Health patient, who suffers from severe menstrual cramps, was able to dramatically decrease their frequency and intensity by eliminating cold drinks and food three days prior to her period. I also taught her how to check the area below her belly throughout her monthly cycle to feel if it is cold. When this area is warm, she can indulge in a small portion of cold drinks. If it is cold, in order to avoid miserable PMS, warm food and drinks are ideal.

Eating warm-temperature food and drinks is just one of many simple lifestyle habits that can improve your health!


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