Q&A: Ying & Yang of Eating Healthy

I’ve recently heard about “cooling” and “warming” foods; what are some examples of them and why are they call such?

~Julia (Indiana)

Hi Julia, Quite an interesting question you have asked!  The concept of cooling and warming foods is often related to the symbolism of yin and yang, meaning “a balance.”  In particular, inhabitants of Asian countries use the terms “heaty” and “cooling” to signify different feelings/emotions/ailments such as: irritation, upset stomach, fever and sore throat.
Per this philosophy, various foods impact the body in different ways, which in turn influences the body’s state of being.  The cumulative effect of one’s metabolism, organ function and arrangement of anatomy aids in ascertaining an individual’s sensitivity to “heaty” and “cooling” foods.  Generally speaking, characteristics of “heaty” foods include sweet, cultivated in the sun, high in fats, hard, dry and/or spicy.  On the contrary, “cooling” foods typically need little sunshine to grow, are lean, soft and/or wet.  Examples of “heaty” foods are pepper, coconut, cherries, garlic, ham, and brown sugar while examples of “cooling” foods are oysters, potatoes, beef, celery, carrots and milk.
“Heaty” foods are believed to produce hot energy and “cooling” foods cold energy, therefore an equilibrium is sought.  For instance, if a person notices that when they consume fried foods their skin breaks outs then consuming “cooling foods” would be a way to offset this “heaty” reaction.
~Miss Chef RD

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