Ayurveda on Cold Food and Iced Beverages

Ayurveda on Cold Food and Iced Beverages like Smoothies

No Iced Beverages for Anyone

In general Ayurveda does not recommend iced cold beverages for any of the doshas, simply because digestion is a warm process. It is our digestive fire, called Agni in Ayurveda, that breaks down foods and liquids in the gut and makes them available as nutrients to be filtered into the blood stream by the liver, and even absorbed directly in the colon.

Agni is a kind of fire, and just as in nature, the firey liquids of the gut transform solid things into gas and liquid, as forest fires do, as volcanos do. And just as in nature, cold is the opposite of heat, and water dampens and deadens fire.

Drinking iced beverages chills the gut (and the body) and undermines the digestive process. Never before in human history have people drunk ice water and iced smoothie things or cold food and beverages out of the refrigerator. This is a very very modern invention, that even today has its epicentre and acme in the USA.

All traditional societies respect the digestive process and introduce warming relaxing soups and teas at meal time, and have more raw food in summer and less in autumn and nearly none in winter. Seasonal eating.

Iced and cold beverages are a big problem in the American diet and a huge culprit, along with stress patterns, in the development of toxic Ama in the gut, which shows up as gas, bloating, constipation, IBS, GERD and can be seen on the tongue as a greasy, sticky coating, or swelling with tooth marks.

Ama/Digestive toxins are a major factor in the development of disease, and originate in the gut, as a result of incorrect ways of eating, both in terms of disrespecting your dosha and the warm nature of the digestive process, and ruining your digestion with improper lifestyle, like overthinking and stress reactions in your nervous system, as well as bad habits like working while you eat.

Smoothies for Vata and Kapha

On top of all this, two of the three Doshas in Ayurveda, Vata and Kapha, suffer from cold as a causative factor. Eating cold or cooling food, as well as exposure to cold climate, will elevate, or aggravate both Vata and Kapha. Vata and Kapha dominant dosha people should avoid cold food like the plague. Vata also needs to avoid raw food, because it is dry and light, whereas Kapha can have raw food if it is prepared with pungent spices like cumin and black pepper, even chile.

Can a Vata dominant or Kapha dominant dosha have cold food like a smoothie at all?

Yes, if

  • they are in a relatively balanced state--no gas, bloating, IBS, Gerd, or other digestive disorder
  • it is hot weather, especially in summer
  • especially if their secondary dosha is Pitta
  • they don't use ice cubes or too much frozen fruit, another words, the drink is not too cold
  • use spices to balance the cool energy
for a recipe and more info on smoothie for Vata dosha, follow the links at the bottom.

For info and recipe on a Pitta dosha smoothie, read this article:

For more info on this topic:

Copyright Eyton J. Shalom, M.S., L.Ac. San Diego, CA, May 2016 All Rights Reserved, Use With Permission Ayurveda, Acupuncture, and Chinese Medicine in San Diego http://www.bodymindwellnesscenter.com