Special Diets Print How to Warm Up Your Diet With Traditional Chinese Medicine By Cathy Wong | Updated April 26, 2019 Cabinet in Chinese herb store, drawer open revealing herbs. Credit: Barry Austin / Getty Images More in Special Diets Gluten-Free Low-Carb Although raw fruits and vegetables are usually considered beneficial, in traditional Chinese medicine, or TCM, eating too many raw fruits and vegetables can cause an imbalance in the body. That's because different foods are thought to have different energies, from cold to neutral to hot. Raw Foods and Cold Energy in TCM Raw fruits and vegetables possess cool energy. According to traditional Chinese medicine, over-consumption of raw foods may promote chilliness, mucus, congestion, fatigue, and depletion, feeling cold, abdominal pain, a poor appetite, and bloating after meals. These symptoms are said to improve when people change their diets by reducing their intake of raw fruits and vegetables, cold water, and cold dairy products. The Ratio of Cold to Warm Foods According to Traditional Chinese Medicine In traditional Chinese medicine, the optimal ratio of raw to cooked foods depends on the individual. Animal protein is very warming, so people who eat meat every day are thought to be able to handle more raw foods. Vegetarians, however, are thought to be able to eat less raw foods because they don't consume animal protein. Climate also determines the optimal balance. During the winter, our bodies need a warming, enriching diet to balance damp, windy and cold weather. How To "Warm" Your Diet With Chinese Medicine Incorporating more warmth into your diet doesn't require much work. In traditional Chinese medicine, some suggestions on how to warm the diet include: 1. Cook Vegetables, Especially in Cold Weather Cooked foods have absorbed the heat of cooking and are believed to generate body heat and stimulate circulation. Try preparing foods by steaming, stewing, and baking. Most Cool Most Warm Raw, fresh foods Raw, dried foods Steamed foods Sautéed foods Baked foods 2. Drink Room Temperature or Warm Fluids and Avoid Cold Drinks Many people drink copious amounts of cold water, which can throw off the body's balance. 3. Ensure That You Are Eating an Adequate Amount of Protein Protein is an important source of heat and energy. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 g per kg of body weight per day. Most Cool Most Warm Fruit Vegetables Roots, tubers Grains Seeds Nuts Dairy, seafood, meat 4. Eat Foods With a Warming Energy In traditional Chinese medicine, there are many types of foods and seasonings that contain warming energy. Black and white pepper, ginger, garlic, cayenne, walnuts, green onions, and chili peppers are particularly warm and stimulating. Other warming ingredients include: NutmegSquashSunflower seedsWalnutsChestnutBrown sugarCloveCoconutDatesFresh gingerCorianderChivesRice wine or vinegarCinnamonBlack pepperGreen/red pepperCarawayMustard greensPine nutsRice milkParsleyCayenneTurmeric Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Get nutrition tips and advice to make healthy eating easier. Email Address Sign Up There was an error. Please try again. Thank you, , for signing up. What are your concerns? Other Inaccurate Hard to Understand Submit Article Sources Continue Reading Special Diets Can You Really Survive Eating Only Fruit? Special Diets Can an elimination diet help you uncover food sensitivities? Nutrition Facts Burdock Root Tea Benefits and Side Effects Special Diets What Is the Engine 2 Diet? Special Diets Paleo Diet vs. Other Diets: Which Is Best? Nutrition Facts Can the Tasty Drink Golden Milk Boost Your Health? Nutrition Facts This Unexpected Food Might Help Lower Your Cholesterol Nutrition Facts The Health Benefits of Goji Berry Eat Well Strategies What Is the Whole30 Diet? Sports Nutrition Exercising in Cold Weather? Eat This To Stay Warm and Energized Recipes Anti-Inflammatory Pumpkin Cauliflower Soup Recipe for the Fall Special Diets What Is a Plant-Based Diet? Sports Nutrition An Overview of Nutrition for Athletes Nutrition Facts What to Know About Monk Fruit Recipes Classic Potato Salad Recipe for a Low-FODMAP Diet Basics What are Nightshade Vegetables?