Blood deficiency in TCM refers to more than simply anemia (low iron). Like yin, blood refers to the body’s fluid and nourishment. A diet that is nutrient rich and supplementing is recommended to build up liver blood. It is best to consume foods that are slightly cooked. By lightly cooking food, you preserve the nutrients, and also ensure that they are readily digested and absorbed. Also, be sure to chew thoroughly to savor flavors and stimulate the digestive process.
For heart blood deficiency, the ratio of food groups should be as follows:
30-40% leafy green vegetables
30-40% high quality protein
20-30% complex carbohydrates includes grains and vegetables
Foods that Benefit Heart Blood
wheat, rice, oats, roasted barley, sweet rice, spelt, millet
pumpkin, sweet potatoes, squash, carrots, corn, parsnips, yams, peas, onions, leeks, garlic, turnip, mushrooms, spinach, chard, kale, Chinese greens, beets, parsley
legumes in general, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, fava beans, tempeh
chicken, beef, pork, goose, rabbit, organic liver, eggs, organic bone marrow
mackerel, tuna, anchovy, perch, eel, catfish, oysters, mussels, shrimp, prawns, clams, seaweed
stewed fruit, lychee fruit, coconut, grapes, cherries, jujube dates, lotus seeds, longan fruit, lily bulb, mulberries, dates, figs
black sesame seeds, molasses, rice syrup, barley malt, miso
Foods to Restrict or Avoid
Salads, raw vegetables, raw fruits, excess amounts of tofu, overly rich or oily food, overly sweet food, refined sugar, high doses of vitamin C, chocolate, cold food like ice cream or smoothies, iced drinks, strong tea, coffee, chilies
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.