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Traditional Chinese Medicine on the other hand, has one of the world’s oldest medical systems. Chinese medicine can be dated back to the 3rd Century BCE, with the earliest known written record in The Yellow Emperor’s Inner Classic. So what does TCM think about the dieting?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the main focus of practicing Chinese Medicine is to help the body achieve a balance. The Yin and Yang symbol embodies this principle, where everything should be kept in balance.
Food in TCM is a source of nutrients for the body, and they can be categorized into 5 different types – cold, cool ,neutral, warm and hot – also what we commonly refer to as ‘cold’ or ‘heaty’ food. But don’t be fooled by the terms; the temperature of the food does not determine its category. It’s categorized by the effects it has on the body after consumption.
When a person continually eats a certain type of food, it can throw the body off-balance, causing sickness in the body. Hence, one of the main goals of Chinese Medicine is to nurture the body and keep it in a ‘neutral’ state, where things are balanced.
Hence, what one should eat more of depends on the body constitution of each individual. For example, blood is considered as Yang in TCM. During a woman’s reproductive years, they experience blood loss due to menses, which puts their body in the Yin stage. Therefore, they should consume more ‘warm’ food such as meat and avoid salads which are categorized as ‘cool’.