Why we should eat warm foods more

(Last Updated on December 23, 2023 by Amiee)

If someone feels unwell and goes to see a Chinese medicine doctor, the doctor will tell them to eat less or not to eat cooling foods, not only ice water, and ice cream but also beer, milk, green tea, fruits, etc. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that a large number of cooling foods will harm your health.

I used to love ice cream so much, but my digestion got worse as I got older. Since I said goodbye to ice cream, my visceral function has improved.

We all know that the human body has temperature, in the North Pole and the South Pole, it is impossible to live without clothes. All life activities are carried out on the basis of maintaining temperature. Everyone has innate vitality, which is the sun of the body, and protecting this sun is the foundation of health. The digestion and conversion of food require a warm environment and vitality (the sun of the body). The heat and cold balance are also under the condition of maintaining temperature.

For thousands of years, Chinese people have had their own dietary wisdom and philosophy, mostly relying on the “Huang Di Nei Jing”, which is China’s earliest medical classic. It believes that “medicine and foods are of the same origin” and how to eat and what to eat is essential to keep healthy. In ancient China, if a person was ill, first adjusted his diet to restore his health, and then they thought of using Chinese medicine.

The first principle of the Chinese diet is to understand the cooling and warm properties of foods and to eat them in a targeted manner. Chinese medicine treats foods from their nature, divided into cold and warm, and neutral foods. Generally speaking, the property is not physical temperature, but natural property. But some physical temperature is too low, which can also change the nature of foods

Our daily foods are best based on neutral food. When eating cold foods, use warm seasoning or ingredients. For example, crabs are dipped in ginger vinegar when eating. Here we have to mention the Dream of Red Mansions, one of the four masterpieces. Lin Daiyu’s chest hurts after eating crabs. Jia Baoyu asked the servant to soak Albiziae Cortex(He Huan Pi)  in wine for her to drink. This is also using heat to balance the cold.

There is a Chinese saying: eat radish in winter and ginger in summer, without having to find a doctor to prescribe a prescription. In winter, the body is cold outside and hot inside. You can eat a bit of cold food like radish, to balance the internal heat, not too much. In Summer heat gathers on the surface of the body, and there is a bit of coldness in the body. In this season people have no appetite. Eat some ginger to warm it up and promote the movement of Qi and blood.

Traditional Chinese medicine can change the properties of the medicine through “processing”, and foods are also possible. Foods that have been baked, fried, grilled, etc., will become neutral or warm even if they are originally cold.  such as pan-fried eggs, and baked pork.

Although cold foods can help clear fire and detoxify, Chinese medicine can assist in the treatment of some fever syndromes, such as dry stools and swollen gums, but it should not be too much.

The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic also tells us: Five grains are for nourishment, five fruits are for help, five animals are for benefit, and five vegetables are for a supplement. If the women of a family know how to adjust and prepare their diets according to the season, environment, and the nature and taste of the food, then that it will be of great help to the health of the family members.

The following is a table of food attributes so that we can decide what to eat according to the hot and cold nature of the food to help our health:

Ice and cooling foods(Cool in nature)

Cereals: millet, wheat, gluten, barley, buckwheat, floating wheat;

Meat: duck meat, frog meat, rabbit meat, pig brain, duck blood, water snake meat;

Eggs: duck eggs, preserved eggs;

Milk: horse milk;

Aquatic products: mullet, octopus, crabs, clams, mussels, snails, sea noodles, mud snails.

Fruits: Pear, loquat, apple, tangerine, orange, lotus mist, mango, orange, strawberry, mangosteen, dragon fruit, jujube, prickly pear, sugar cane, watermelon, grapefruit, persimmon, persimmon, cantaloupe, banana, mulberry, star fruit, Kiwi, water chestnut;

Dried fruits: water chestnut (the raw ones are cool in nature, the ripe ones are warm in nature), Luo Han Guo;

Fungus and algae: ground mushroom, enoki mushroom, wakame, partridge, seaweed, straw mushroom, kelp, hair vegetable;

Camellia: chrysanthemum, honeysuckle, rose flower, camellia, lily, dense flower, Apocynum, rose flower, kapok, marigold, kudingcha, senna, ginseng leaf, nasturtium, trumpet creeper, gynostemma;

Vegetables: bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, celery, parsley, kale, cauliflower, beets, spinach, day lily, asparagus, eggplant, tomatoes, mung beans, tofu, radish (cold in the raw, warm in the cooked), burdock, soil Melon, wax gourd, loofah, cucumber, amaranth, lettuce, rapeseed, chayote, wormwood, wolfberry leaves, water spinach, lotus root, bitter gourd, soybean sprouts, purslane, golden luffa, aloe, cactus, houttuynia, bracken, Fungus, watercress;

Condiments: tea, salt, soy sauce, noodle sauce, bean sauce;

Neutral Foods

Cereals: rice, black rice, crispy rice, corn, oats, rice bran, sesame, highland barley;

Meat: beef, pork, silky chicken, goose, pigeon, donkey, quail;

Eggs: eggs, quail eggs, pigeon eggs;

Milk: human milk, yogurt, milk, cheese, cream, condensed milk;

Fish: crucian, herring, carp, cuttlefish, squid, bass, eel, loach, pomfret, golden thread, whitebait, sardine, pond lice, flounder, tuna, sturgeon;

Other aquatic products: fish fat, sea urchin, jellyfish, scallops, turtle meat, soft-shelled turtle, turtle shell;

Fruits: grapes, pineapples, plums, passion fruit, sweet almonds, raspberries, jackfruits, figs, jelly fruits;

Dried fruits: peanuts, plums, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, lotus seeds, cashews, olives, ginkgo, lilies, ginseng, hazelnuts;

Fungus and algae: Tremella, black fungus, shiitake mushroom, winter mushroom, hericium erinaceus, bamboo fungus, ganoderma lucidum, matsutake, stone fungus, Phellinus linteus, oyster mushroom, puffball;

Camellia: Chamomile, Globe Amaranth, Perrin, Agastache, Albizia Julibrissin, Peach Blossom, Green Calyx Plum, Lotus Flower, Tortoise Flower;

Vegetables: Chinese cabbage, Qingjiang cabbage, shepherd’s purse, kohlrabi, cabbage, chrysanthemum, carob, soybean, bowl bean, string bean, black bean, gourd, lentil, lentil flower, broad bean, tempeh, carrot, sweet potato, yam, potato, Taro, golden cauliflower, papaya, Jerusalem artichoke;

Condiments: MSG, white sugar, rock sugar, maltose, honey

Warm foods(warm in nature)

Cereals: glutinous rice, sago rice, purple rice, sorghum, millet rice, grain sprouts;

Meat: tripe, beef marrow, beef brain, dog meat, pork liver, pork belly, ham, lamb chicken, bamboo chicken, pheasant, donkey whip, cat meat, deer whip, sparrow meat, partridge meat;

Eggs: goose eggs, sparrow eggs;

Milk: Goat milk, camel milk;

Fish: hairtail, eel, carp, trout, silver carp, catfish, puffer fish (poisonous), gurnard, corydalis, silver carp, burdock fish, tang fish;

Other aquatic products: shrimp, cockles, sea cucumbers, mussels, seahorses;

Fruits: longan, guava, lychee, custard apple, kumquat, apricot, pomegranate, rambutan, bergamot, bayberry, citron, peach, cherry, durian;

Dried fruits: jujube, walnut, chestnut, ripe water chestnut, pistachio, betel nut, pine nut, date;

Vegetables: leek, chive flower, garlic, coriander, green onion, onion, pumpkin, papaya, sweet potato, konjac, potherb mustard, scallion white, toon, scallion, chili, green pepper; Insects: silkworm pupae, locusts, grasshoppers;

Condiments: red sugar (brown sugar), vegetable oil (including rape oil, soybean oil, sesame oil, peanut oil, tea oil, cottonseed oil, and sunflower oil), vinegar, wine, mustard, ginger, dried ginger, pepper, star anise, coffee, cumin, Clove, perilla, tangerine peel, cardamom, evodia, turmeric, amomum, grass fruit, angelica, red yeast rice, galangal, fenugreek, nutmeg, coriander, fennel, cumin, dill, Ginger, pepper, cinnamon, long pepper;

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