Skip to Main Content

Cool it with the Diet this Summer

Extreme summer heat can be devastating to your body. Overexposure to heat can cause dehydration, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. The  American Heart Association offers great advice to stay safe. 


Did you know that eating the right foods can also keep you cool?

When you apply the principles of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to your diet, you can easily nourish your body when the temperatures reach their peak. TCM uses the energetic properties of foods to balance the body and mind, so we can be healthy, pain-free, and joyful!

Fruits and Vegetables

Take advantage of the fresh produce this season Summer is the best time to eat a colorful, heart-healthy meal. Fill your plate with green-leafy veggies such as kale, Swiss chard, and lettuce (not iceberg). Also include asparagus, alfalfa sprouts, celery, eggplant, spinach, tomatoes, kelp and seaweeds, mushrooms, and cucumbers in your diet.

If you are feeling slightly overheated, eating watermelon is one of the fasted ways to cool yourself. All melons, such as cantaloupe and honeydew help you to stay hydrated and reduce heat. Other cooling fruits include apples, bananas, pineapples, kiwi, strawberries, and lemons. While pears and oranges are cooling fruits, it is important to eat in season, and these two fruits are usually at their peak in the colder months.


Proteins are important for energy, muscle and nerve repair, hormone balance, and conducting major chemical reactions in your body. Finding proteins that are cooling by TCM standards can be challenging. Mung beans are probably the most cooling protein that you could add to your diet. Soybeans and tofu are also powerful sources that cool your body - make sure that you eat in moderation and only consume from organic and non-GMO sources. Not a fan of beans? Rabbit meat and eggs are also cooling. 


Despite the current "anti-carb" frenzy, grains are important for nerve conduction, provide energy, and help to regulate cholesterol. The trick is to consume complex carbohydrates, as opposed to refined carbohydrates (i.e. chips, sugar, white flour, cookies). Some yummy grains to consume include barley, buckwheat, millet, and wheat. Wheat and barley contain gluten, so don't eat them if you have an intolerance.


Water is the most important beverage you will ever consume. You need to stay hydrated. And if you get bored, try adding some fresh lemon, cucumber, or peppermint. Cooling teas include peppermint tea, green tea, and chrysanthemum tea. 

Don't forget...                                       

TCM is all about balance. So if you want to eat a food that is "hot," like chicken, try combining it with a fresh greens and tomato salad. Or if you absolutely craving ginger tea, add lemon. There are no hard and fast rules. 

And don't overdo it either. Eating too many cold and cooling foods can upset your digestion. Focus on gently incorporating some of these foods into your diet and see how you feel.     

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don't hesitate to contact me.