Nutrition Guidelines for Heart Fire

In TCM the heart system includes not only the heart muscle itself, but also overall blood circulation and aspects of mental and emotional activity. Excess heat or fire affecting the heart is a state of over-stimulation. Cooling foods are recommended to reduce the heat or fire. Lightly cooked foods, along with a small amount of uncooked foods should be eaten.

For heart fire, the ratio of food groups should be as follows:

40-60% vegetables and fruit

30% complex carbohydrates like whole grains and root vegetables

10% protein

Foods that Clear Heart Fire

Celery, spinach, swiss chard, cucumber, lettuce, dandelion greens, radish, asparagus, eggplant, cabbage, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, corn, beets, turnips, carrots, parsley, sprouts, watercress, purslane, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, seaweed, spirulina

apples, pears, watermelon, persimmon

millet, barley, rye

tofu, soy products, yogurt

mung beans, adzuki beans

escargot, crab, oysters, clams

Foods to Restrict or Avoid

Roasted, fried and deep fried food in general

chilies, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, garlic, mustard

horseradish, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, vinegar, excessive salt

red meat, shrimp, cheese, eggs, peanuts



Clinical Handbook of Internal Medicine, Vol. 2. MacLean & Lyttleton. University of Western Sydney: Australia. 2002.

Chinese Dietary Therapy. Liu, J. Churchill Livingston: Edinburgh.1995.

The Healing Cuisine of China. Zhao & Ellis. Healing Arts Press: Vermont. 1998


This fact sheet is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is meant to complement rather than substitute for a consultation with a qualified TCM practitioner.