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What are Hot and Cold Foods in India as per Ayurveda

Shipra Singh
Shipra Singh
hot and cold
hot and cold foods

What is hot food and cold food? Many people wrongly believe that hot foods mean those that are piping hot and cold foods mean those that are refrigerated!  

The fact is hotness and coldness of food is not related to whether it is piping hot or freezing cold.  

Do you know ice cream is a hot food?  Shocked, aren’t you?  

We eat ice creams during summer to cool ourselves. However, what happens is the opposite. Eating ice cream induces heat generation in the body. So, don’t be surprised if you feel like drinking cold water after several minutes of eating ice cream.  

There may be so many unhealthy foods that we eat everyday and don’t know their bad effects.  

Concept of hot and cold in foods  

According to Ayurveda, every food possesses an innate potency, either hot or cold, that impacts the body in some way or the other.  

A few examples of hot foods: 

  • Tomatoes

  • Ginger

  • Ghee

  • Pepper

  • Onions and garlic

  • Mustard 

 A few examples of cold foods: 

  • Melons

  • Pumpkin

  • Asparagus

  • Coconut

  • Sweet fruits

  • Cauliflower 

Benefits of Hot Foods 

  • They improve blood circulation in the body. 

  • They help in digestion. 

  • Hot foods have the property of combustion, so they give energy. 

  • They make you feel light, energetic, ‘raring to go’ in your mind and body. 

 Side effects of eating too much hot foods 

  • Excess consumption of hot foods can lead to purging and vomiting.

  • Prolonged excess eating can lead to destruction of semen. 

  • Too much hot foods can also cause ulcers, rashes, and gastritis. 

  • They can increase your appetite and make you eat more. 

  • Heart burns are common in people eating too much of hot foods. 

Benefits of Cold Foods 

  • Cold foods nourish the body. 

  • They provide strength and steadiness. 

  • They help to build fluids in the body. 

 Side effects of eating too much cold foods 

  • Eating excess of cold foods makes you feel heavy. 

  • Cold foods are harder to digest. 

  • Excess eating can impact your immune system in a negative way. 


You must balance hot foods and cold foods in your diet for overall health and wellbeing.  Consider your body composition type first. Are you a pittavata, or kapha? These are the three “doshas” or body composition types. Every person has these three doshas, but one may be more dominant than the other.  

Eat foods accordingly to induce physical and mental wellbeing.  

For example, there are certain foods and drinks to eat and avoid during cough and cold.  

Dominance of doshas also change with weather changes, location changes, and emotional changes. The food you eat also determine what dosha is more dominant in you.  

However, every individual has a basic body composition. If you eat and live accordingly, you feel better and healthier.  

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