The Concept Of Hot And Cold Foods As Per Ayurveda And How They Impact Your Body
Hotness or coldness of the food is determined by their impact on the body. According to Ayurveda, each body type will be affected in different ways by hot and cold foods.
According to Ayurveda, every hot and cold food has an innate potency
- Hot foods help in improving digestion and circulation
- Cold foods are known to provide nourishment and strength to the body
- Each body type will be affected in different ways by hot and cold foods
Ayurveda says that every food, hot or cold, has an innate potency which plays an important role in terms of its impact on the body. Hot foods include tomatoes, ginger, onions, mustard, pepper and ghee. Hot foods help in improving digestion and circulation. Cold foods include melons, coconut, asparagus, cauliflower, pumpkin and most sweet fruits. Cold foods are known to provide nourishment and strength to the body. Hotness or coldness of the food is determined by their impact on the body. According to Ayurveda, each body type, namely Vata, Kapha and Pitta, will be affected in different ways by hot and cold foods. While preparing a meal, it is important to maintain a balance between hot and cold foods. This has to be done by considering your own body type, its requirements and seasonal changes.
A common misconception between hot and cold foods is that while a food which is cooked hot is considered to be hot and refrigerated food is considered to be cold. But the potency of food has no relation with the prevailing temperature of the food. Ice cream, for instance, will induce heat in the body, despite being cold in temperature.
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Hot foods depict properties of combustion and digestion. They impart a feeling of light body and mind. However, hot foods can also lead to vomiting, purging and can even destroy semen. Excessive consumption of hot foods can lead to gastritis, ulcers and rashes. They are said to increase one's appetite and can make you gluttonous. Heart burns are a common occurrence eating hot foods. Spicy foods are usually considered as hot foods. But some foods like honey are considered to be hot because of their potency.
As mentioned above, cold foods help in feeling more nourished, strong and steady. They help in build-up of fluids in the body. However, eating cold foods can impart a sense of heaviness in the body. They are harder to digest and can negatively impact the immune system.
Sub-categories of foods
Foods can further be sub-categories into dry-moist and light heavy. Dry foods are usually hot while oily foods are considered to be cold. Food which make you feel heavy and are pungent, sour or bitter in nature, are cold. Whereas, light foods which are mostly salty, sweet or astringent in taste are hot foods.
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Seminal Ayurvedic text Charaka Samhita suggest that foods should not be kept for long after eating. Foods are best eaten hot. This is because cold food might be a little difficult to digest and assimilate. They result in more debris and residue.
Right foods for each body type as per Ayurveda
People who are dominant in Pitta should avoid fried and spicy food. They should have more mint, melons, mangoes, cherries, avocados, cucumber smoothies and coconut puddings. They should include leafy greens in their salad like dandelions, kale and arugula.
People who are dominant in Vata should consume more warm, cooked and nourishing food which can be easily digested. They should include more dairy products in their diet. Veggies like beans, zucchini, cauliflower and sweet potatoes are all good for people dominant in Vata. Cranberries, plums, rhubarb, nuts, kiwi, grapefruit and bananas are the foods good for people dominant in Vata.
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People dominant in their Kapha can enjoy light, spicy and warm foods. They can spice up their dishes with spices like black pepper, cumin, ginger, sesame and turmeric etc. These spices are very beneficial for the health as well. Bitter dark green veggies, beans and pulses are good for people with dominant Kapha. The fruits that they can eat include pears, peaches, figs, pomegranate and apples.
Eating according to your body type can benefit you in several ways. They can prevent onset of diseases and promote a healthy and active body.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.