Yes you read that right, by consuming cold foods and drinks we can cause our bodies to gain weight, lose power and in a weakened state to become more prone to ills over a period of time.
Well the first thing to understand is that our body runs off energy. Quite simply, the more powered up it is, the better every organ and every cell will function.
Everything from your heart to your kidneys to your brain needs power. The more it has the better and healthier it works. The less it has, the less able it is to carry out tasks around the body, leaving things to pile up and break, or leaving it vulnerable to infections and other ailments.
So maximizing your energy levels is therefore of the upmost importance to a healthy flourishing well-being.
Energy in essence is really heat and movement. The more active molecules become, the more they vibrate and heat up. If you think of a car engine or a machine, they heat up while they are running. Or even when you get active and exercise using your energy reserves, you will heat up. The sun also gives us an example of heat and energy in the form of solar power. In simple terms, heat and energy go hand in hand together.
The stomach uses up a lot of energy to heat up and process the food you have consumed. The rest of the body is protected from this heat by thick mucus that lines the inside of the stomach. If you have ever had the unpleasant experience of heartburn, where some of the heat and liquids escape up into the throat, then you have had exposure to the intensity of the heat being generated by the stomach.
Now if we think of an ordinary cooker found in your kitchen; if you wanted to use it to make vegetable soup, the most efficient way where the cooker would use the least amount of electrical power, would be to cheat by boiling a kettle and pouring this hot boiled water into the pot with the veg. The soup would cook quickly and the cooker would use up the least amount of electricity possible.
The most inefficient way would be to get frozen vegetables and put them with very cold water into your pot. And then for some odd reason, just as its starting to boil, add in a few ice cubes. The cooker would waste lots more energy and time trying to cook this soup up.
In the same way if we apply those principles to our stomachs, we can start to see that if we eat cold foods or take icy drinks with meals, our stomachs will take and use up a lot more of our vital energy trying to break the food down.
The stomach starts to steal energy from the other organs and mind, making you feel tired and sleepy. It may even just give up, causing the foods to sit in your stomach giving you a belly ache. The undigested food eventually starts to make its way into the intestine where it slowly rots, letting out gasses and causing your abdomen to distend and bloat. These gasses may build up causing pressure, discomfort, indigestion, pain and wind.
Long term, from over exposure to cold food, your digestive organs may begin to weaken and your metabolism will start to slow and become sluggish as it loses its power. This can lead to weight gain and many other implications for the rest of the system.
As energy is decreased in the body, there is not enough power for the organs to work effectively, leading to such conditions as general poor health, tiredness, low moods, depression and a weak immune system.
So to keep your stomach and digestion strong and healthy, and to keep energy levels high, just follow the simple rule to have hot meals and avoid cold ones.
If you have a salad or a sandwich, be sure to have a hot drink with it, the heat will help to boost the energy in your stomach to break down the unheated food.
(Peppermint tea is usually a great accompaniment with meals. It has special properties which help the digestive system. Green tea is also another favourite. Both will be discussed in detail in future blogs).
Avoid cold drinks and fruit juices taken directly from the fridge. Before drinking them, let them heat up to room temperature, or mix some hot water from the kettle into them.
When preparing food, be sure to thoroughly heat it but do try to avoid overcooking. If you do overcook, you will reduce the vitamins, minerals, energy and other nutrients it contains. You will also lose much of the flavour of the food.
Finally, in regards to being overweight, consuming cold foods is only one of the ways to cause the retention of fluids and fat which can lead to excess weight gain, (the others will be discussed in future blogs).