If you were to go to Europe or Asia, you would see most people drinking room temperature water and eating room temperature foods. In America, however, we are saturated with cold and frozen drinks from frappuccinos to smoothies and cold and frozen foods, from ice cream to salads. Even though some of the ingredients in these cold foods can be healthy, the temperature is not ideal.
To ensure having a healthy metabolism, whatever we eat or drink should be close to our body’s normal temperature, which is 98.6 Fahrenheit. Any food or drink lower than this temperature is harder to digest and more likely to slow down the metabolic process. There are several symptoms that can occur by eating cold foods. Here are some of them:
- Coughing / Phlegm – When cold foods or beverages enter the esophagus, it encounters the warm vaporized fluid in the lungs and phlegm is formed, which lowers the function and capacity of the lungs. This can lead to coughs and increase your susceptibility to the flu. Next time you or your kids eat ice cream, notice if they cough. My kids always do.
- Indigestion/Bloating – Cold foods and drinks can cause indigestion because the digestion process slows down with cold foods. Eating and drinking cold foods can also generate more gas that can cause bloating. It can also lead to poor appetite and slow down the metabolism.
- Infertility – I’ve found that some of my infertility patients have been able to get pregnant by just changing the temperature of the foods they consume. Cold foods and drinks can cause the uterus to absorb the coldness from cold foods and drinks, resulting in an unsuitable environment for conception. Think of a seed trying to fertilize in the snow! This is a common causes of infertility in the states. Western medicine doesn’t recognize this issue but TCM does, which may be why so many women are being helped with Acupuncture and TCM for successful fertility treatment.
- Urgent and/or Frequent Urination – In some cases, incontinence can be a result of the intestines and bladder getting cold.
- Leg cramps/Restless Leg Syndrome – If you think of what happens to water in the freezer, you can understand how cold or iced water can cause muscle cramps. Water in the freezer becomes hard and stiff, the opposite of how you want your muscles to be! Muscles like warmth because they need good blood and water flow to keep them hydrated and absorbent.
*TIP: Try beginning your morning with a glass of warm water! If you think about our bodies like a sink with a piping system and then garbage disposal at the end, then you can understand why we need to flush our bodies often with warm water to clean our system. When we don’t, our system can get clogged and as a result, problems occur. Warm water is known to do the following:
- Detoxifies the system
– Helps in the digestion of food
– Purifies the blood stream
– Stimulates bowel movement
– Clears toxic deposits on the nervous system that purify the mind
– Helps kidneys to function better
– Reduces infections
– Prevents dehydration
– Helps the process of perspiration
Please contact me with any questions at my Fairfield, Connecticut Acupuncture office at 646- 221-5057.
Photo credit. Kaberi Kal Gupta. Flickr