Nutrition Guidelines for Heart Blood Deficiency

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.