My friend Patty asked me, " In macrobiotics, why are cold beverages not recommended?"
Cold beverages (especially iced cold) slow down digestion. In macrobiotics digestion is a big deal. The better your digestion is, the more nutrients you absorb from the food you eat and the better your elimination is. One of the macrobiotic lifestyle practices is to chew your food well — this is for the same reason — better digestion, absorption and elimination.
Soups are a big part of the macro diet. The reason? Digestion. At the start of a meal the warmth helps relax the body (digestive tract) and gets peristalsis going, making the body ready to receive (or digest) the rest of the food we will eat.
When you eat a diet based on whole grains, beans and vegetables, it's easier not to have everything iced cold. If you're eating the Standard American Diet, which is based around eating meat, you'll crave more cold beverages. Meat and other animal protein produce an excess of heat in the body (listen up if you have hot flashes!), and our bodies want/need to cool it.
Think about it. How long ago did we start having refrigeration? With the advent of refrigeration for food preservation, consumption of meat and other animal protein went up dramatically. Over the years, the amounts we ate also increased. I'm willing to wager that iced cold beverages increased as our animal protein consumption went up, but that's a whole other subject ... for another time.
So, it's recommended that beverages be taken at room temperature. During the summer if you do crave something cold occasionally, have it, but not iced cold. Or not all the time.
"And what about carbonated beverages?"
Carbonated beverages, especially sugared carbonated beverages, leach calcium from the bones. They do this by making the blood acidic. Both the sugar and carbonation do this. The blood draws calcium from the bones to buffer or balance it. We need to keep the calcium where it belongs — in our bones!
Any other thoughts or comments on this subject are welcomed. Cheers! Meg