Food By Diagnosis

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In Chinese medicine theory it is believed that food is medicine. We are what we eat.

With proper diagnosis you should follow a specific type of diet.

Below you will find a list of foods and comments for the following diagnosis:


Qi Deficiency (Fatigue, Weak, Tired Always): Foods that are consumed should be easy to digest, warming and nourishing. All cooked, warmed, slow-cooking foods are ideally suited for qi deficiency. Soups, broths, high-complex carbohydrates, vegetables and small portions of meats are recommended. Avoid excessive fluids with meals, uncooked raw foods, overeating, skipping meals, and eating while working.


Foods: Millet, garbanzo beans, pine nuts, figs, dates, squash, carrots, cabbage, small, portions of meats, vegetables, grains, cooked squashed, leeks, oats, onion, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, sweet rice, yams, dried fruits, cherries, dry figs, peaches, strawberries, anchovies, chicken, turkey, spices, black pepper, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, barley malt, maple syrup.


Qi Stagnation (General Aches and Pains, Irritability, Stress): Food choices similar to those of qi deficiency are good choices. Eat less and earlier in the day. Concentrate on light to mildly spicy foods, stir frying, paching, and steaming your foods. Consider adding small amounts of strongly moving substances, such as black pepper to your foods. Avoid processed junk foods, cold foods, preservatives, eating while upset or under pressure, skipping meals, overeating and eating too quickly.


Foods: Basil, cardamom, carrots, cayenne, chives, dill seeds, fennel, garlic, grapefruit, orange peels, peaches, peppermint, plum radish, squash, tangerine peels, tumeric, vinegar, watercress, onions, mint, asparagus.


Yin Deficiency (Dry Skin, Night Sweats, Frequent Urination): Moistening and lubricating food are useful. Use plenty of water in cooking includig soups and stews. A nourishing diet consists of seeds, beans, and high-quality protein.


Foods: Oats, rice, millet, barley, chicken, yogurt, tofu, nuts and seeds, oysters, mussels, clams, sperulina, potatoes, melons, black beans, apples, bananas, ming beans, flaxseed oil, almond oil.


Dampness (Heaviness in the Body, Fatigue, Digestive Issues):  Generally it is a result of long-term qi deficiency but may also arise quickly from a diet that contains too many cold, raw foods, excessive dairy products, or excessive amounts of greasy foods, animal products, or alcohol. Emphasize foods that are cooked and warm and have a low fat intake. Avoid dairy, sugar, deep friedn, and junk foods. Bitter and pungent flavored foods are ideal for dampness.


Foods: Add foods which dry dampness, such as rye, scallions, turnips and limit the foods that contribute to dampness.


Blood Deficiency (Blurry Vission, Aches and Pain, Menstraul Issues): Generally foods which sypplement the Spleen are considered good choices, including iron and protein-rich foods, folic acid and vitamin B12 from deficiency.


Foods: Dark leafy green vegetables, chlorophyll-rich foods, spinach, grapes, lotus root, cayenne pepper, and smal amounts of meat products, especially liver, are beneficial additions to help production and circulation of blood.


Blood Stagnation (Painfull Menses, Aches and Pains) : Foods similar to qi stagnation and blood deficiency in addition to those which strongly move the blood in the body. Avoid cold raw foods as they constrict blood circulation.


Foods: Tumeric, butter, leeks, onions, crab, red wine, cayenne, peaches, scallions, saffron, sweet rice, vinegar, chicken eggs, garlic, chives, eggplant, adzuki beans.


Heat Condition (Insomnia, Sweat Easy, Digestive Issues, Swelling of Joints): Shorten cooking times and add plenty of water to your foods, steaming, and stir frying. Heat may show up in a verity of ways depending on the underlying condition. Differentiate between “full heat” and “false heat” as it affects food choices. Avoid deep frying, BBQ, roasting, overeating and hot foods that  contribute to excess conditions.


Foods: Apples, barley, chicken, cucumbers, mangoes, mung beans, pears, radishes, sesame seeds, streawberries, tangerines, turnips, wheat, bamboo shoots, bananas, chestnuts, crab, grapefruit, kelp, lettuce, oranges, salt, sea grass, seaweed, soft drinks, sour foods, watermellon, water chestnuts, fruits, raw vegetables, and salads.


Cold Condition (Cold Abdomen or Extremities, Digestive Issues, Aches and Pains) :  Warming foods, which emphasize movement are good choices. Avoid all raw foods, including salads and vegetables. Differentiate between “full cold” and “false cold” conditions as it affects food choices. If necessary, warm or lightly steam foods.


Foods: Brown sugar, cayenne, chives, cinnamon, twigs, cloves, coffee, egg yolks, fresh ginger, ham, leeks, lamb, nutmeg, peaches, raspberries, rosemary, shrimp, sunflower seeds, sweet basil, walnuts, wine.




These Statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.

Source: “Acupuncture Desk Reference ” 2009 Acumedwest Inc. by David J. Kuoch