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Food & Drink

Of all the lifestyle factors, food is by far the most effective and the easiest to implement since it is entirely in your control. Tibb classifies food and drink according to whether they are hot, cold, moist or dry. Each food type can be classified as being heating or cooling with levels of moistness or dryness. This classification refers to the inherent temperament associated with the foods and the effect they have on the temperament of the individual. For example milk is cold and moist, chicken has a hot and dry temperament. The concept of heating and cooling foods is linked to the effect the foods have on the body. The rule to remember is that too much of the dominant quality associated with your temperament, will have a negative effect on you.

Determining which foods are appropriate for individual temperaments
As outlined earlier, an excess of food with qualities similar to the qualities associated with your temperament will result in an excess that may negatively influence your health. It therefore implies that foods from the opposite spectrum of the temperamental chart will be most appropriate for the maintenance of good health.

For example, an individual with a dominant Sanguinous temperament will be most negatively affected by food from the Hot and Moist category, and will most benefit from the opposite Cold and Dry category. To elaborate further, a person who is dominant/sub-dominant sanguinous/phlegmatic temperament should avoid hot and moist and cold and moist foods and eat more from the cold and dry and hot and dry foods.

Temperament of recipes

Just as each ingredient has a temperamemt (qualities) recipes also have an overall quality depending on the ingredients in the recipe, as indicated below.

  • Salty – Hot and Moist;
  • Pungent – Hot and Dry;
  • Bitter – Dry and Hot;
  • Sweet – Moist and Hot;
  • Sour – Cold and Dry;
  • Insipid / tasteless – Cold and Moist.

From the above, qualities associated with the different tastes it is obvious that a person with a bilious temperament will be negatively affected by an excess of pungent and bitter foods.

Importance of heating foods
It is generally thought that the Mediterranean diet is a healthy diet. This is because it includes foods such as olive oil, garlic and fresh ingredients with a dominant heating quality. The typical western diet of salads, proteins and dry foods fall in the cold moist and cold and dry categories. According to Tibb, many chronic illness conditions are the result of an accumulation of toxins resulting from poor digestion and metabolism due to the excess consumption of ‘cold’ foods. Including heating foods in your diet would benefit you by:

  • Increasing the production of digestive enzymes in the gastro-intestinal tract.
  • Increasing the efficiency of functioning at the cellular and metabolic levels.
  • Facilitating the assimilation of micronutrients, with a minimum of metabolic waste.
  • Achieving and maintaining complete metabolic digestion.

Importance of water
Another important thing to remember when it comes to eating healthy is getting enough water. To maintain the 70% water of the human body, it is essential to drink enough water every day. Water plays a vital role in metabolism, digestion, the circulatory system, and in the elimination of waste products.
The human body can effectively deal with excess water, but not with inadequate amounts. Certain conditions or illnesses such as kidney stones, dry skin and dehydration all result from inadequate water intake. Sufficient water helps reduce blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol and uric acid and glucose.