Food and Temperature

veggiesQuick Tip for Staying Healthy: Regulating Temperature with Food

It’s getting closer to summer, and temperatures are slowly warming up outside. On an individual level, some people feel cold much the time, while others tend to run hot. Both external and internal temperatures may influence what we choose to eat and drink. For example, a person who is feeling cold (either because it’s cold outside or because they just feel cold) may crave a hot cup of ginger tea or some spicy food.

Under the principles of Chinese medicine, which strives for balance in all systems, your healthiest food choices are often guided by both the weather as well as by how you feel internally. Chinese medicine classifies foods, spices, herbs, and drinks according to temperature–not only their physical temperature (for example, a hot bowl of soup), but also by their effect on the body (for example, a spicy curry).

If you are feeling cold, and/or it is cold outside, a warming food or beverage would help you reach equilibrium. Likewise, on a hot day, or if you are feeling hot, a cooling food or beverage (such as a drink containing mint) would be a good choice.

The following foods and drinks are divided by their Chinese medicine temperature characteristics: cooling, warming, and neutral. Try regulating your own temperature by keeping these properties in mind.

Cooling

Fruits

Vegetables

Grains, Legumes, & Seeds

Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

Spices,& Beverages

apple

alfalfa sprout

barley

chicken egg

beer

avocado

asparagus

buckwheat

clam

chamomile

banana

broccoli

millet

crab

green tea

cranberry

celery

soy bean

octopus

marjoram

grapefruit

cucumber

tofu

 

mint

kiwi

dandelion leaf

wheat bran

 

nettle

lemon/lime

lettuce

whole wheat

 

peppermint

melon

radish

   

salt

mango

seaweed

   

tamarind

orange

spinach

     

pear

summer squash

     

strawberry

tomato

     

watermelon

water chestnut

     

 

Warming

Fruits

Vegetables

Grains, Legumes, & Seeds

Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

Spices & Beverages

blackberry

bell pepper

chestnut

beef

coffee

cherry

brussels sprout

malt

butter

wine

coconut

kale

pine nut

chicken

basil

date

leek

pistachio

lamb

cayenne

lychee

onion

walnut

shrimp

chili

quince

parsnip

 

trout

cinnamon

peach

pumpkin

 

turkey

clove

 

winter squash

   

cumin

       

garlic

       

ginger

       

mustard

       

pepper

 

Neutral

Fruits

Vegetables

Grains, Legumes, & Seeds

Meat, Seafood, & Dairy

Spices & Beverages

apricot

cabbage

almond

duck

soy milk

fig

carrot

kidney bean

milk

coriander

grapes

cauliflower

peanut

pork

saffron

papaya

olives

peas

tuna

licorice

pineapple

potato

rye

 

honey

plum

string bean

sunflower seed

   

pomegranate

sweet potato

white rice

   

raspberry

turnip

     

Sources, and for more information:

http://www.pingminghealth.com/article/581/warming-and-cooling-characteristics-of-common-foods/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mika-ono/5-healthy-eating-tips-fro_b_632977.html