strawberries and cream

TCM and Energetic Food Values

What is TCM and energetic food values?  In Traditional Chinese Medicine we talk about diet not in the sense of ‘dieting’ to lose weight but from a holistic point of view with food being used as medicine to heal the body.  Now this is not in a way where we tell you to avoid certain foods because they are bad for you nor is it from a calorie counting way. In TCM foods have an energy value of hot, warm, cold, cooling or neutral.

In my clinic I will often talk to you about the kinds of food you can introduce into your diet to support your treatment and your healing journey.  The energy value of a food is not just about the temperature of it either it is about the effect it has on the body.  For instance if your body is running hot and you have inflamation or pain then I will suggest some foods you can introduce to cool your system down from the inside.  If you are struggling with feeling cold I will suggest some foods that can heat you up etc.  So for instance Chrysanthemum tea has a cold energy value but you would drink it when its hot but once you have drank the tea the heat of the water disappears and you are left with the cooling effects from the plant.

Here are some lists of food from each of the energy values:

Cold: Bamboo shoots, bananas, chrysanthemum, crabs, cuttlefish, clams, spinach, wild rice, grapefruit, tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, watermelon, kelp, soy sauce, salt

Cool: Apples, barley, broccoli, buckwheat, cauliflower, cucumbers, celery, aubergine, coconut, cheese, cream, strawberries, oranges, mangoes, mushrooms, peppermint, pineapple

Neutral: Cabbage, carrots, cashews, corn, figs, grapes, lemon, olives, oysters, sugar, sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, pistachios, beef, pork, duck

Warm: Asparagus, apricots, chestnuts, cherries, chicken, venison, garlic, ginger, coffee, vinegar, peaches, lychee,  pumpkin, mussels, lobster, spring onions, onions, turmeric.

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Hot: Black pepper, chili, chili peppers, cinnamon, ginger, jalapeños, mustard, mustard seed.

By selecting one or two foods from the right category over time you can help to heal yourself from the inside out!

You can also help your health by eating these foods according to the seasons.  In the hot summer days (you know those rare occasions in the UK) you can choose foods from the cold or cool list to help you to reduce the heat in your body.  In the winter you can choose foods from the hot list to keep you warm and avoid getting those ‘cold to the bone’ days.  Foods on the neutral list are good for balancing things out.

So on the next hot day why not treat yourself to a bowl of strawberries and cream to cool you down and if anyone says you can’t eat that tell them “yes I can, my acupunctruist told me so because of  TCM and Energetic Food Values!”