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TCM Dietary Therapy- What is a "Healthy Diet" According to TCM?

Updated: Aug 2, 2023

What is a “healthy diet” according to the Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective?

This is a topic discussed in clinic with our clients all the time, since diet plays a huge part in our everyday lives, and they are always surprised to find out what they think is a "healthy diet" according to western nutrition, may not be the most sustainable diet for them to follow in the long-term. It is very common for people to follow a clean diet, exercise regularly and seeming to do all the right things, yet they may still struggle with weight control, and still experience bloating and fatigue.

In TCM, it is more than just calorie counting, eating according to the food pyramid and having the recommended daily water intake. We incorporate what is called “TCM dietary therapy” into our everyday routine, where we go further and take into account the energetic profiles and nature of food, their flavours, the time of day we eat, and eating according to our own specific body type. For example, salad and green smoothies are what we generally see as healthy, because of the vitamins and many nutrients that they provide, and being low in calories. However, according to TCM, the regular consumption of these everyday may not be the best long-term, due to their “cool” nature, meaning that because they are food/ drinks that are not cooked/ heated, they generally cool the internal temperature of the digestive system. With a lot of these raw, cold foods, we are forcing our bodies to work harder to warm, digest and process them, which ultimately works against the perceived benefits that they may provide. Instead, if we focus on having more foods that are lightly cooked or warming food such as ginger, hot soups and broths, these can moderate the digestive temperature better, which would lead to greater energy levels and overall health.

If you want to learn more about TCM dietary therapy, the energetic profiles of food and how to eat according to your body type, Dr Michelle Li (BTCM, MChiro) will be hosting an online event on 8th June 7:30pm-8pm in the evening according to Eastern standard time. You can register for the event now, feel free to message us if you have any questions. We hope to see you soon!

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