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Like most people, you probably opt for cool drinks in the summer and hot drinks in the winter. This way of thinking appears logical: I'm cold so I want to warm up; I'm hot so I want to cool down. Most people think that drinking a hot beverage will continue to heat up your body, however, a study from the University of Ottawa actually disproved this theory.
Researcher Ollie Jay performed a series of tests on participants, recording their body temperature with several thermometers while they drank hot liquids and exercised simultaneously. Drinking hot water triggered a sweat response that compensated for the hot drink whereas cold drinks produced the opposite response — meaning drinking hot beverages when you are hot will actually cool you down faster than drinking a cold beverage. Neat, huh?!
This study presents our western medicine approach, but eastern medicine thinks about this paradox a bit differently. Ayurveda comes from India and is called 'the science of life,' a natural, holistic form of medicine. It sees the body, mind and spirit as interconnected and centralizes around doshas, the substances or energies making up the human body. There are three doshas: kapha, pitta and vata. Which dosha are you?
By understanding your doshas and adjusting your lifestyle, you can bring all your systems back into balance and harmony with one another. And according to ayurveda, food is a major part of regulating our bodies, emotions, health and more. Some foods are heating while others are cooling, the heating effect depends on your dosha makeup. For example, if your dosha is pitta, commonly referred to as the fire dosha, you'll want to have cooling foods.
Here is a quick list of some common 'hot' and 'cool' foods so you get the idea:
Now that you know some of the basic 'hot' and 'cool' foods, take the dosha test above to see where you land, and how you can balance your body with food.
Start your day with warm water and honey (could drink our Ginger Glow blend if you need some flavour in your cup and lemongrass is also a cooling ingredient), and end it with a light dinner. Your foods should be warm, prepared fresh and spiced with natural flavours. If possible, avoid heavy foods like meat, nuts, bananas, avocados, dairy and fried foods.
Enjoy a hearty lunch and drink some milk before bed with ghee, saffron, cardamom and sugar. Favour cool beverages (like our iced teas!) and freshly prepared food whenever possible. Try adding ghee to your cooking with cooling spices like cardamom, turmeric, coriander and fennel.
Choose warm beverages, like boiled milk with cardamom before bed, and freshly prepared food whenever possible (for a caffeine free drink with cardamom our Yogi blend is perfect). When it comes to healthy fats, lean towards ghee, sesame oil, butter and other vegetable oils. Avoid eating raw, gaseous vegetables, like broccoli or cauliflower.
So now that we've busted a myth and taught you all about your doshas, how will you adjust your lifestyle to live in harmony with your genetic makeup?
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