Summer Diet


Candace Liu, LAc, B. Med

by Candace Liu LAc, B. Med, MSOM, DAOM

Hot summer days make people want cold drinks and foods. It seems that the food and drinks in the refrigerator are beckoning. From a TAM (Traditional Asian Medicine) perspective, cold food can cause cold and damp in the body. It will damage the Yang Qi of the organs and decrease the body’s circulation. Everyone’s tolerance to ice drinks and cold food is different. The damage may not show up right way but we still need to pay attention to the side affects of ingesting ice drinks and cold foods. Summer is the season when bacteria easily breed and cause infection. Common diseases caused by improper diet during the summer are diarrhea and gastroenteritis (food poisoning). Some common conditions that can be caused by cold and damp in the body from a TAM perspective are:

  • Dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation)
  • Decreased metabolism
  • Edema
  • Eczema
  • Allergic rhinitis, asthma
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Hypertension

How can we eat for health in the summer? The summer diet should be fresh and light which helps to maintain a healthy heart and gastrointestinal functions. The following foods can be used to reduce body temperature and replenish water and vitamins.

Ideal summer foods:

Fruits –

Apples, mangoes, pineapples, cantaloupes, pears, plums, peaches, grapes, papaya, dragon fruit, mulberries, figs, peach, watermelon, bananas, lemons, limes

Vegetables –

Bittermelon, asparagus, lettuce, cucumber, sweet potatoes, sweet potato leaves, cilantro, jicama, purple carrots, sweet peppers, corn, garden peas, green beans, turnips, blackberries, portabella mushroom, summer squash, cabbage, arugula, lettuce, thyme, celery

Meat –

wild Alaskan salmon, soft-shell crab, arctic char fish, catfish, rainbow trout, crayfish, sardines, turkey


Mung bean, barley, wheat, oats, kidney beans, lima beans


  • Drinking boiled water moisturizes the body organs (Boiling water improves metabolism and regulates body temperature)
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables
  • Do not eat deep fried food
  • Limit caffeine, alcoholic and sweetened drinks
  • Limit cold foods or iced drinks
  • Limit dry, spicy and salty foods
Published on July 19th, 2018

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