Temperature vs Nature of Food
Warm, cooked food is healing and soothing for digestion. Eating warm foods eases strain on the system and over time optimizes absorption of crucial nutrients.
Well understood in Asia, this most basic theory of digestion explains that everything you eat must be heated up in your stomach to a 100 degree soup.
Congee is a medicinal porridge based on this centuries-old wisdom. Well cooked and very hydrating, congee is an excellent base for including other healthy foods because it makes them easier to digest and absorb.
Our understanding of food is often quite cultural. One of my favorite concepts from Asian nutritional wisdom is that all foods have a unique “nature.”
The essence of each food is not altered by heating or chilling. The warming or cooling affect on the body occurs regardless of how hot or cold the food is when you eat it.
Cucumbers, for example, are cooling even when eaten in hot soup and can be refreshingly cool in summer. Ginger is warming even if eaten as ice cream. Spices warm up each bite in your stomach. Spices such as nutmeg magnify the warming, digestion-promoting congee effect.