What are warm &cold based foods?
Excerpt taken from Wisdom of Eating by Dr Bel Zoughi FRACGP
In ancient Ayurvedic medicine, food was chosen to be eaten according to the reaction it had with each body type. Food can be warm or cold in nature, not because of their temperature but due to their effect on the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic or parasympathetic nerves).
The two nerves dictate all the bodily functions which are not under our control like heart rate, bowel movements, secretion of hormones and enzymes, contraction and dilation of vessels, contraction and dilation of pupils etc.
Our bodies are different as well in that regard. Some bodies have more warm characteristics, meaning that their sympathetic nerves are more active and others have more cold characteristics, meaning that their parasympathetic nerves are more active. This is the reason why different bodies have different needs. Imagine a horizontal line - at one extreme is a warm core body and at the other extreme a cold core body. You are likely to be somewhere in between, leaning towards one side.
The best way to describe warm and cold-based foods is to imagine you have just eaten a dish of beef and vegetables, which are cold based. After a few minutes, you may crave a warm-based food. This is why people may crave for sweet dishes or dessert after consuming a meal with meat. The severity of this craving depends of the type of body and the degree of coldness - some foods are colder than others.
In other words, we know that every person has a specific body type, shape, glands and nervous system.
This is why one person can eat cold based foods all day without any side effects, while a small amount of the same food in another person gives them symptoms.
To help us understand the incoming messages from the autonomic nervous system clearly, here are some simple points to remember:
1. every cell in our body is affected by these nerves
2. every piece of food has some effect on their function,
3. every thought which passes through our mind is received and acknowledged by this system.
Have you noticed how being excited about some news can make your heart race? Or how being upset can make you lose your appetite?