Chinese medicine Nutrition for Summer

Posted by Tira Mills

Summer is the season of the big yang and is characterized by the fire phase and summer heat. Heat feeds on body fluids and harms yin. It is recommended to take in predominately cooling, dampness- providing foods (yin food) to disperse heat and build up body fluids.

The bitter flavour corresponds to the fire phase, and mostly bitter–cool as well as bitter–cold foods in moderation should be consumed during the hot season.

Recommended Summer Foods:

Fruit or fruit juices:

Apple, lemon, kiwi, melon, orange, pear, pineapple, tangerine

Cooling foods:

Cucumber, Belgian endive hearts, spinach, tomato, as well as more raw foods, salads, yogurt, wheat, barley, black or even better green tea, mineral water, wheat beer, mussels, rabbit

Foods to Avoid during Summer:

Dry and energetically hot foods such as coffee and acrid spices. Also avoid ice-cold foods and beverages and ice cream, because they abruptly block the stomach’s digestive energy.

In the view of Chinese medicine, children have a physiologically weak center burner until they are about eight years old. They are especially sensitive to cold foods and beverages.


The Chinese have recommended green tea as an ideal beverage during summer heat for centuries. “It disperses summer heat and can expel toxins, cool the heart fire, calm the mind, remove heat from liver and gallbladder, and relieve stomach and lung.”

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Source: Chinese Nutrition Therapy: Dietetics in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) by Jörg Kastner

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