Food Temperature and Proper Hygiene
Food Temperature when it is too cold and too hot can create undesirable effect to our body. When we do not follow proper Hygiene, food can create poisoning effects and causes disease.
The book Nei Jing 内经 said “…the failure of the lungs to disperse can cause coughing. A diet abundant in cold or raw foods will do this, as the coldness causes stagnation of the stomach qi. The cold then rises with ying/nutritive qi and spleen qi to the lung, causing coldness, stagnation, and cough.”
Some other medical classics pointed out that food being too cold or too hot harms the Fu organs. Hot food can hurt the bones and too hot can scald the lips. Extreme thermal temperature causes disorder of the stomach.
In the book Qian Jin Yao Fang 千金要方, it mentioned that one’s diet should include mainly warm food. Cold congeals and causes stagnation of Qi and can lead to food stagnation.
Modern medicine shows that frequent consumption of hot food damages the mucous membranes in the mouth and esophagus and can promote mutation of the mucosa, hence, cancer. Frequent intake of cold or raw food impairs the digestive function of the stomach and spleen and causes gastrointestinal diseases.
Therefore, the regulating of thermal temperature of food prior to consumption is of great significance as regards to the maintenance of health.
Following Proper Hygiene
The book Lun Yu 论语 , written by the disciples of the Confucious, pointed out that Rotten fish, decaying meat and food with hideous colour or smell must not be eaten. The book Jin Gui Yao Lu金匮要略 holds a similar view and even points out that “The meat and fish which dogs will not eat and birds will not peck should not be eaten”.
The above statements showed that our ancestors are mindful with selecting clean and fresh food to avoid pathogenic organism.
Our Ancient Diet Doctor’s Principles in Diet
The book Yang Sheng Lun 养身论 points out that one should eat a bit earlier rather than a bit later, slowly rather than fast; the amount should be small rather than large; and the food should be warm but not hot, soft rather than hard and salty but of not too much salt.
This demonstrates that the ancient “diet doctors” set certain principles and advice on eating. They emphasis proper time, pace on eating food, amount of food, flavors and their thermal temperature. These principles conform with the current health experts’ view on proper eating habits.