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Why you should eat Cooling Foods during SummerCooling Foods

by Alice Louey

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we recognise that different conditions and body types require different treatment methods. The ultimate end goal of Chinese medicine and acupuncture sessions are to bring you back into a balanced healthy state of well-being. The choice of foods we eat is one easy way that we can take care of ourselves and have a beneficial impact on our health. We are lucky here in Melbourne to have such a variety of good quality foods available to us all year round.

You may have noticed that your acupuncturist has recommended that you eat more cooling foods.  What does this mean? Cooling and warming foods are one way that Chinese medicine categorises the healing properties of foods. Cooling foods are great way to cool the body if you are suffering from any TCM heat conditions.  These foods have cooling and moistening properties to help counteract the drying and warming effect of having too much internal heat. 

Cooling foods may be part of the treatment plan devised specifically for you to help reduce or alleviate any heat symptoms you’re suffering from. Some symptoms you may experience if you have too much internal heat in your system include: thirst, feeling hot, red eyes, headaches, dark yellow urine, constipation, day or night sweating, skin rashes (heat rash, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis) or being short-tempered.

Cooling foods that are in season during the warmer months of the year include foods like cucumbers, watermelon, lettuce, apricots, strawberries, watercress, nashi pears and asparagus.

Other cooling foods that are available all year long: are leafy green vegetables (bok choi, choy sum, chinese broccoli, spinach), mung bean sprouts, celery, apples, pears, kiwi fruit; peppermint tea, chrysanthemum tea, cucumbers, bamboo shoots, tofu, eggplant, mushrooms, lemons, limes, grapefruit, banana and avocado.

Cooling foods that are great for your hot skin: cucumber, pears, nashi pears, celery, watermelon, kiwi fruit, watercress and mung bean sprouts.

Chinese medicine home remedies for your hot skin: thinly peeled slices of cucumber laid directly over the hot skin (use a vegetable peeler to get really long, thin strips of cucumber that can cover a larger area of skin) and rubbing watermelon peel (the white part) over the affected skin area

Cooling foods that are great for your red eyes: peppermint tea, chrysanthemum flower tea, water that has been infused with lemons and/or cucumber;

Chinese Medicine Home remedies for your red eyes: don’t waste your peppermint teabags, you can place the cooled peppermint teabags placed over the eyes; cucumber slices applied directly on top of the eyes;

Eating a variety of these cooling foods can also be helpful to provide some relief from hot and dry summer days. Please refer to the chart below for an assortment of cooling foods for grains, vegetables, fruits, protein, drinks, herbs and spices.

If you have any concerns or are wondering if cooling foods could be good for you, please consider booking an appointment with one of our practitioners. One of the reasons why having a consultation is so important, is to get an individualised treatment program devised specifically for you, which is a key benefit of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Cooling Foods