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Natural Awakenings Fairfield Cty/Housatonic Valley, CT

Raise Water Temperature to Boost Metabolism

There have been many studies proving that the consumption of cold food and beverages, including ice water, actually causes our blood vessels to constrict, slows peristalsis in the digestive tract and solidifies the fats in food we eat, all of which contribute to weakening the body’s ability to digest. One primary hypothesis is that consuming cold reduces our body’s core temperature. Where these revealing studies leaves off, the science Ayurveda takes up the tale.

A very important concept in Ayurvedic medicine is agni. Agni is the energy of metabolism, our digestive fire, which turns everything we consume into fuel for living. A strong agni gives us the ability not only to properly digest food but also to take in and process mental and emotional experiences. Agni is not a physical structure that can be measured by any type of Western medical device—you won’t find it on an ultrasound or a C.A.T. scan. Instead, it is an energy that exists in the lower curvature of the stomach. Our primary agni is the reason why the consumption of cold food and beverages is ill-advised, as we need heat for biotransformation. 

Have you ever prepared a meal of grains and veggies or meat with a pot of ice water rather than a bubbling pot of water cooking over a strong flame? Probably not. Nothing would break down, nothing would transform to a digestible state. When the agni in our gut is strong, digestion improves; you don’t get bloated after a meal, you begin to experience healthy daily bowel movements and are better able to “digest” experiences or trauma. If you are constantly in the habit of consuming cold food and drink, and you are experiencing digestive issues, it might be time to consider the strength of your agni. 

One of the easiest methods to begin this repair is consuming foods that are well-cooked instead of raw and room-temperature, as well as drinking warmer beverages rather than those that are chilled. Quite possibly the easiest step in the right direction is just to forget the ice and drink your water at room temperature.

Samantha Parker is an Ayurvedic practitioner and principal of Anjali Ayurvedic Medicine, LLC. Connect with her at 203-246-2578, [email protected] or Anjali.Life.
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