cold food health

Especially during this time of year, we’re all about the cold. Ice cream. Popsicles. Frozen for days. But is splashing our system with ice-cold-goodness actually doing more harm than help? Thankfully, we can turn to Chalkboard Mag* for some answers here. Below, Certified Health and Wellness Coach, Nicole Granato, is filling us in about the negative effect cold foods and drinks can have on our body.

In our smoothie-crazed health world, have we ever stopped to wonder if frozen drinks are really healthy for us? We’re ingesting an ice-cold drink while bundled up in socks and a sweater warming the outside of our bodies but freezing the inside.

Auyervedic medicine explains that every season is associated with a dosha – spring with kapha, summer with pitta and fall and winter with vata. These seasonal fluxuations with doshas are essentially balanced through diet. While pitta is the most dominant in women, each dosha has one main thing in common: None of them recommend ice-cold drinks or food. Chinese medicine also says women should be eating warm to room temperature foods throughout the seasons – anything colder greatly increases the chances of hormonal imbalance, skin irritation, bloating, digestive sensitivity, blood stagnation, hair loss and mood disorders like depression and increased anxiety. So could our iced drinks and smoothies really be hurting us?

THE FIX: Nourish yourself with warmed foods like soups, almonds, fresh ginger, vegetables boiled or roasted, bone broth, fruits like dates and figs, warm nut milk or goats milk, turmeric, ghee, pumpkin seeds, whole grains, avocado, sweet potato, room-temperature salads and matcha green tea. Stay away from frozen fruits and berries, cold acai bowls and fruit bowls, iced drinks, cold vegetables and salads and iced coffee. Drink things at room temperature.



Our digestive systems are extremely sensitive to foods and liquids and, most importantly, the temperature of those foods. Nothing disrupts the digestive system more than a cold beverage, especially on an empty stomach – it sends a big shock throughout the entire body. Women who ingest cold beverages first thing in the morning tend to experience bloating, puffiness in their face and neck, mild forms of acne and digestive sensitivity throughout the day and into the evening. Replace that cold drink in the a.m. with a warm or room-temperature one.


Pitta governs all heat, metabolism, hormone balance and transformation in the body and mind. Symptoms like irritability, thinning hair, excess stomach acid, loose stool, skin prone to rashes and puffiness in the face and neck may be connected to an imbalanced pitta. Most women tend to suffer from this imbalance in the fall, winter and spring months. Eating a diet based on warm and room temperature foods is key.


Warm foods have been suggested as the best foods to eat while trying to conceive. Nourishing our body with food that is easy on the digestive system allows our bodies to absorb the nutrients within the food. When we eat ice cold foods and smoothies our body freezes up, creating a blockage, preventing our tissues from absorbing the nutrients that are being given to us. Warm foods promote a healthy menstrual cycle, ovulation and lower symptoms of PMS as our bodies are able to shed uterine lining and build blood efficiently. It is highly important to eat warm and nourishing foods during this time of the month and stay away from cold foods and drinks!

Some of our favorite warming recipes from Chalkboard are: Cauliflower Rice, Coconut Quinoa Pudding, and Sweet Potato Nachos with Vegan Queso.

*The Chalkboard Mag and its materials are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material on The Chalkboard Mag is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.

Image via Jillian Guyette



  1. The blog is very informative and outstanding. I would love to read your blog. Give me lots of useful information. I will often visit your blog.

  2. What a bunch of baloney! I’m really disappointed to see this article on Darling’s site — completely lacking even an attempt at providing any scientific basis for the claims and suggestions made. This kind of content does more harm than good.

  3. Where are the sources to back up your claims? Other than mentioning some specific cultural practices, is there any data to support the far-reaching benefits of warm foods? What qualifications do you have to give nutritional advice? Please consider if this website is the place for an article like this. I see the disclaimer, but women get so much conflicting nutritional advice and so much of it is thinly-veiled judgement (“clean eating” for example– am I unclean/dirty if I eat ice cream a couple times a week?) with no solid scientific evidence that articles like this are irresponsible. In the meantime I’ll be enjoying smoothies, iced coffee, and ice cream without being worried that they will somehow effect my uterine lining and fertility.

  4. Let’s remember that most women (myself included!) are just trying their best to nourish their bodies and improve their relationship with food, and this article makes a LOT of foods seem unhealthy or dangerous even. We don’t need to be making women afraid of salad or their favorite iced coffee pick me up. It’s good to examine our eating habits, but fear doesn’t have a place there. Worrying about eating any food is bad for digestion, stress, fertility, etc. Focus on nourishing ourselves with foods we enjoy and don’t worry about following so many food rules!

  5. Interesting article, I do not like cold drinks and hardly ever drink something cold still do not feel balanced?????? But hopefully I am better off. Please check out my new blog for women over 50. I have great advice and really want to start some conversations!

  6. I have to agree with Anonymous, Brittany, and Layla.
    Nothing against Eastern health practices. I just have come to expect deeper, more thoughtful presentation from Darling.

  7. I hear about cold foods being bad for your health all the time – my Mum has been drumming this into me since I was a kid. I think it’s a cultural thing, here in Hong Kong and in most Asian countries we believe that cold food isn’t good for you. I rarely drink cold drinks as well – I order hot tea at cafés even if it’s nearly 40ºC out there, haha! 😛

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

  8. But is there real science behind this? These seems to be more steeped in Hindu philosophy than actual medicine. All the evidence given was, “Some people from certain cultures say this,” and then it was assumed to be true. I don’t see a reason to believe this article and it’s suggestions–like stay away from salads for your health–without real proof.

  9. I’m a total believer in this concept. Having lived in Asia for over a decade, eating and drinking warm or hot temperature foods and drink has become a personal wellness habit. Recently, my system was completely out of whack – the Chinese medicine diagnosis was that my body was “weak and cold”. The treatment was to drink the nastiest hot dirt tea (can’t think of how else to describe it). Of course, only warm foods and drink were permitted. Feel a thousand times better and even though its a hot summer, I’m still ditching the ice.

  10. Hello Darling! I absolutely love that you include articles that encourage us to take of our bodies and promote wellness. I think it’s so important! As a nutrition student training to be a dietitian, I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed by the way that information presented in this article. I do not deny that there are limitations in Western medicine and value the work of complementary medical practices/alternative therapies, however, perhaps this article could encourage readers to rethink cold drinks should they have noticed problems with it, rather than label them to have negative effects on the body or to ‘nix them’. This approach is ‘fear-mongering’ and is actually quite misleading. Nutrition is grounded in science and messages that deviate from evidence-based research should be written carefully, particularly in a large publication that reaches a large audience. Again, I’m glad that there are various views on how we approach our health and I am grateful to the Darling team for encouraging wellness, however I do wish that the messages targeted towards health practices could be a bit more clear and not misleading. Thank you for reading my input! 🙂

    1. I agree. It is not that there are no health benefits from cold food/beverages. It’s simply good to know it may not be the best for you, especially if you are having issues. No need for fear mongering.

      I am a Certified Integrative Health Coach. I appreciate the author’s advice, but not the way it was delivered.

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