We’ve all been told to eat our “greens” and to drink our “milk to grow taller and make our bones stronger”. And we know this to be true because of the cellular properties that certain foods have. Like the calcium in milk that helps to fortify our bones and teeth, or the fiber in vegetables that helps to improve our digestion.
But did you know that the Chinese categorized their foods into hot and cold categories and used them to treat different symptoms and conditions? Although their so called food therapy is based around Chinese folklore and traditional Chinese medicine, we often still apply these beliefs to our everyday lives without even knowing it.
The gist of a “hot food” is something that warms up your body when you’re eating it. A really quick and easy example that most of us have consumed is alcohol and peppers. They both warm up your body and make you feel a little steamy. These foods can also be considered high in calories, require heating to be prepared (red meats), red in color and have strong flavors such as spices or bitterness.
Some foods in general, though may not immediately induce a warm feeling, may cause symptoms that lead to warmer temperatures.
I once ate an entire box full of mandarin oranges, only to start developing a sore throat a couple hours after. Later that evening, I began to have a fever and after that I was stuck in bed the whole next day. At first I didn’t attribute it to the mandarins until my parents gave me the whole “I told you so” schpeel and filled me in about the oranges. I decided to try it again a couple more times to see if it would keep happening everytime. Sure enough, it did. Case in point, I’m only going to eat one mandarin orange at a time from now on.
The rule of thumb with hot foods is to avoid eating them in the summer.
Cool foods on the other hand, are able to cool down your body system and relax you. Often times, this includes greens and these foods are usually served raw. Hence the mussels, yogurt and banana. The preparation process for these foods require minimal heat if any and are easy to put together. The only exception to this category would be green tea – which is served with hot water.
Typically cold foods are lower in calories, are cooler colored (ie. green) and may have high water content in them. Cold foods are recommended to be eaten when someone is feeling “hot”. So if you’re getting a fever from eating mandarin oranges like I did, it would be recommended to eat a banana as a counter balance to soothe your body.
[quote_center]Do you believe in Chinese Food Therapy?[/quote_center]
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