When I was a child and didn’t feel well, my mother would ask me to list off what I had eaten that day. After listening closely, she would slowly nod her head as she came to a conclusion.
“Sardee-khardee!” she would yelp in Persian.
I would shrug my shoulders and run off, but as I got older, I began to wonder, What does that odd phrase actually mean?
“Sardee-khardee” in Persian literally translates to “have coldness.” The opposite of this is “gharmee-khardee” which translates to “have heat.” According to my mother and grandmother, there are two kinds of people: those who “run cold” and those who “run hot.”
People who run cold need to have foods that are warming, and for people who run warm, vice versa. Regardless of your temperature anyone can fall victim to these imbalances. If you succumb to having too many cooling foods, you will feel it in your stomach and if you have too many warming foods you’ll feel it on your skin (i.e. acne, rash, hives, etc). My mother will eat a pound of ginger with sushi to avoid a stomach ache, will turn to beets and yogurt if she has a rash, and will always tell me to eat dates and black tea if I’m not feeling well.
Almost all foods can be classified as cold or hot but here are some of the basics:
Yogurt, fish, cranberries, strawberries, all berries, lentils, beef, beets, cucumber, spinach, plum, okra, squash, watermelon, cheese, vinegar and lemon.
Dates, bananas, eggs, chicken, chocolate, all nuts, figs, honeydew, carrots, apples, pears, onion, olives, raisins, coconut, shrimp and ginger.
I cannot tell you if there is any actual scientific evidence or concrete basis on whether or not this really does anything. The viewpoint has been passed down to me by my mother, and to her by her mother before her, and so on. In essence, it’s something that makes me feel connected to my family and my Persian culture. So regardless of whether or not there is any “proof” that if you eat yourself into a beet coma, dates will act as a Tums equivalent, I can tell you that it always has, and always will, continue to make me feel better.