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   Heating and cooling Foods

Mis-understanding hot and cold foods:In Ayurveda foods are also classified as heat generating and cold generating. This cannot be taken in the literal sense. Our human body will maintian same body temperature regardless of the food we eat. So the heat and cold is not in that sense. The heat represents action that makes more dynamic or metabolically active or acting fast in immunity. Cold means actiosn that are slow sluggish and more observing immunity. 

So please understand the logic behind heat and cold and also about boils occuring in the body which is literally taken as "summer-heat boils". Those boils means the body is actively trying to throw out garbage toxins from our body and so it is called heat boils.

Traditionally,  foods are considered heating and cooling, which has a connection to lymphatic circulation and immunity. This is similar to the police department in which one group is constantly patrolling around to catch violators of laws. Another group of police will not do the running around job but will do investigation of suspected candidates.  Both groups of police are important in a balanced way.

Same way both heating (pitta) and cooling foods (kapha) are important for a perfect balance of immunity.  Heating foods  increase lymphatic circulation and allow the lymph flow through the nodes and when they find bacteria and viruses will cause inflammatory  immunity reactions to get rid of them. This is why increased consumption of  heating foods like ginger, turmeric  causes appearance of boils in skin. Vegetables and culinary herbs most helpful to move lymph: steamed mustard greens, bok choi, Spanish black radish, radishes, arugula, horseradish.

  While cooling foods decrease indirectly decrease lymphatic circulation so that instead of just killing the bacteria and viruses , they help the helper "T" cells to do produce more antibody production to keep them off from the body. This is why too much of cooling foods produce mucus (kapha) to trap the micro-organisms.

It is good to eat a balance of heating and cooling foods based on exercise and  climatic conditions. 

Heating and cooling foods also change with the person's body nature: Some foods like ragi which are very detoxifying foods can cause boils if the person's body harbors lot of toxins. This does not mean ragi is heat generating. It is a misnomer of using the word heating and cooling foods. Body tries to throw out toxins through boils if it does not find a route to discard them. So some foods favor the formation of boils to discard toxins.

Lymph, foods and exercise:

   As we saw earlier, exercise increases lymph flow ten to thirty fold.  Liver circulation is aided by exercise, particularly by movement of the abdominal muscles and diaphragm. As the diaphragm expands the chest, it compresses the abdominal cavity. The gentle compression of the liver with each breath aids circulation of the blood and lymph through the liver. Exercise such as walking, jumping on a rebounder 5 to 20 minutes per day, gentle running or other aerobic exercise and yogic or special breathing exercises help the liver and will also assist the lymph circulation. Swimming is an excellent exercise because it uses all the muscles and combines rhythmic breathing and movement.

    If you are bedridden, experiment with what body movements you can make in bed. Wiggle your toes, move your wrists, arms, feet, legs, torso. 

The best way to increase lymphatic circulation is YOGA.

A scientific study on A biochemical approach to understand the concept of Snigdha-Ruksha Guna