Causes of distress and dietary ideas

Generally this means that external conditions, such as heat, cold, damp have overpowered the internal conditions of our body. Our internal energy may be strong but extreme external conditions can cause illness. If our internal energy is weak then it is easy for external influences to create imbalances. If heat overpowers the condition is inflammatory in nature, cold it will be phlegm.

It is not possible for us to control external conditions so we must look to keeping our internal energy strong. Eating well, proper rest and sleep and a balanced emotional outlook keep us in a place of good health.

No one lives forever. Our goal is to live a long, balanced and healthy life. The use of Western medicine can help us correctly diagnose and treat acute illness. The Eastern schools of thought address prevention, recovery and non-invasive pain management. If you are not well see your Primary Physician and work out a plan to diagnosis, treat and fully recover.

One way to adjust the internal climate of the body by the principles of Chinese Medicine is through foods. If your condition is "hot" or inflammatory then we want to use foods that are "cooling or cold" and vice versa for cold conditions. We must also keep the external temperatures in mind so more of the warming or hot foods would be beneficial in the winter. It is not recommended to completely eliminate any food from your diet simply balance by mixing and matching. The best diet is one based on the "Most Balanced" category, using the warming and cooling foods as extras.

Foods that create heat and coolness in the body

Warming foods

Foods with a sour under taste are usually considered rising yang and provide a warming quality to the body. The best method of cooking is frying or raw.

  • Rye, wheat grass, alfalfa

  • Artichokes, green peppers, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, rhubarb, sour pickles, sauerkraut

  • Crab apples, sour current, all citrus

  • Saffron, marjoram, bay leaf, nutmeg, cloves, vinegar, yeast

  • Brazil nuts, peanuts, lichee nuts

  • Sour cream, sour yogurt

  • Pork, liver

Hot Foods

Foods with a bitter under taste are usually considered most yang and bring a hot quality to the body. The best method of cooking is grilling and barbecuing.

  • Amaranth, sorghum, red lentils, hops

  • Arugula, red pepper, pepper, black pepper, chive, collard greens, dandelion greens, endive, escarole, spinach, kale, mustard greens, tomato, raspberries

  • Cayenne pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, horseradish

  • Pistachios, bitter almonds

  • Beef, lamb

  • Coffee, bitter chocolate, alcoholic beverages, tobacco

Cooling Foods

Foods with a astringent and pungent under taste and have a “tofu” like consistency are usually considered decreasing yang and give cooling quality to the body. The best method of cooking is baking.

  • Brown and white rice, white potatoes

  • Great Northern beans, navy beans, lima beans, soybeans, tempeh, tofu, cooked bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, leeks, lotus root, onion, shallots

  • Dill, basil, thyme, sage, mint

  • Hickory nuts, walnuts

  • Cheese, eggs, milk

  • Turkey, chicken

Cold Foods

Foods with a salty under taste are most yin and provide a cold quality to the body. The best method of cooking is steaming or salt pickling.

  • Buckwheat, all black beans, kidney beans, pinto beans

  • Beets, eggplant, hiziki, Irish moss, kelp, kombu, mushrooms, nori, wakame, water chestnuts, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, umeboshi plums

  • Soy sauce, miso, salt

  • Chestnuts

  • All seafood, kidneys

Most Balanced - Do NOT create hot or cold

Foods with a sweet under taste and a harder consistency are usually considered most balanced of yin/yang (cool/hot) and give stability and balance to the body. The best method of cooking is soups and stews.

  • Millet, most whole grains

  • Sweet potato, yam

  • Chick peas, corn, carrots, squash, sweet apples, pears, banana, cantaloupe, sweet melons, pumpkin, mango, sweet grapes, prunes, sweet cherries, turnips

  • Allspice, anise, vanilla, licorice, carob, honey, barley malt, maple syrup, rice syrup, brown and white sugar, fennel

  • Almonds, beech nuts, filberts, pecans, pine nuts, macadamia

  • Pheasant, quail, mutton, rabbit