5 Unknown Health Effects of Eating Cold Food

Health Effects of Eating Cold Food

Eating hot or warm food is the norm. This is because most of the food we eat has to be cooked with heat. But not all food must pass through heat before it can be eaten.

Examples include ice cream, canned foods, snacks, and more. Some people also prefer to leave their cooked food till it is cold before they eat it.

There are a few reasons why people eat cold food. For some, it is a matter of preference, that is they prefer food that way.

For others, they eat it out of convenience, because they do not have time to reheat the food before eating it. Some foods arguably taste better when eaten cold.

But is eating cold food the best for you? And are they any health effects to eating cold food? That is what we would be looking at in today’s post. 

1. Takes more work to digest

Eating cold food causes your digestive system to work harder to digest your food.

This happens because the digestive system breaks down hot or warm food better and faster, leading to easier digestion.

But with cold food, digestion takes more time and require more energy. It could also lead to indigestion and other digestive problems.

Scientific evidence does suggest that temperature can influence the digestive process. For instance, a study published in the journal “Gastroenterology” found that the temperature of beverages can affect gastric emptying.

Warm and cold drinks appeared to empty from the stomach more slowly than drinks at body temperature, with the initial rate of gastric emptying of the cold drink being slower. This suggests that consuming cold beverages could potentially slow down the digestive process

To avoid stressing your digestive system, eat more hot/warm food. 

2. Reduces body temperature

The temperature of your food ultimately affects your body temperature.

Eating warm food would keep your body warm or would allow it to maintain a warm temperature.

In the same way, eating cold food could make your body temperature cooler. When your body temperature is cold, it could affect your blood flow, making it irregular.

It could also lead to blood stasis. In women, this could lead to more serious problems like fibroid. 

3. May cause throat irritation

Throat irritation is one of the issues that could arise from consuming cold food.

This is particularly common in people who have sensitive throats.

This could lead to soreness and even pain around the throat. So, if you have a sensitive throat, limit your intake of cold food. 

4. May affect gut health

The state of your intestines is also tied to the kind of food you eat, so eating cold food may play a role in your digestive health.

Eating cold food could lead to a range of gut problems, including bloating, puffiness, and cramps, especially in women.

This is because the gut is sensitive to heat and requires hot food to keep it going. If you care for your gut, you would want to eat more hot foods. 

5. Cold foods lack flavour and taste

When you eat some foods cold, you do not get to fully feel the taste and flavour present in the food.

This can result in a rather bland experience. While this might not seem like a serious problem, it does not fully make sense to eat food without relishing the real taste or flavour.

So, is cold food bad for you? 

If you care about your health, you would limit your intake of cold food. Yes, while eating cold foods during hot days can be a bit relieving, it is not something you should take up as a habit.

Always try to eat your food hot or warm as much as you can. Nonetheless, eating cold food is not dangerous to the stomach or to overall health.

All these health effects of cold food have not been exactly confirmed by proven medical research.



  1. Do you have any science to back any of this up? Actual scientific journal articles? Level 1 RCTs? I would like to know if there is any science behind TCM advice around cold food and poor effects on health. Thanks.


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