Can Ice Cream Affect Our Gut Health?

Yes, it affects our gut health and also they are much problematic then the most popular drinks like Tea and Coffee. The “energetics” of ice cream, according to Ayurveda, are as follows:

  • Taste (rasa): Sweet
  • Potency (virya): Cold
  • Post Digestive Effect (vipaka): Sweet

Let’s explore some Ayurvedic insights:

In simple terms, foods that taste sweet are made mostly from Earth and Water elements. These elements make them feel heavy and substantial. It’s a good idea to have all 6 tastes (Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter, Pungent, Astringent) in each meal. These tastes each have a mix of two out of five elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Air, Ether). When you eat all 6 tastes, you’re getting a bit of each element in every bite you take.

Eating a lot of just one kind of taste can make things unbalanced. For instance, having too much of sweet taste can make Kapha dosha increase. Kapha, like the sweet taste, is made of Earth and Water. Having too much Earth and Water in your food can cause issues like allergies, lots of mucus, gaining weight, feeling unmotivated, and being sluggish. It’s important to have a balance.

Because ice cream is cold in nature, it can increase both Vata and Kapha. This is because these Doshas lack the fire element. While ice cream can calm down fiery Pitta, it can also create Ama, which are like toxins. Imagine water being poured over fire. Similarly our gut which is like blazing fire gets extinguished upon having the chilled ice cream. For this reason, we often feel heavy, sleepy, groggy feelings few minutes after the ice-cream consumption.

The reason why ice cream, and other cold foods too, can create toxins is that they weaken our digestive fire. When our digestion isn’t strong, food doesn’t get processed well or sometimes not at all. This can lead to a thick buildup that blocks our body’s channels. When these channels are blocked, our health goes down, and we don’t feel our best. Our Agni (gut) has just been put off and that has lead to the formation of Ama.

So Ice Creams Are Never to Be Consumed?

It’s not about avoiding consumption, but rather about consuming it the right way. So, the next time you think about having ice cream, keep these things in mind. Choose the ones that your body and health will like. It’s like picking the right puzzle piece that fits perfectly for you. When you eat ice cream thoughtfully, it’s a win-win for both your taste buds and your well-being.