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Five Elements Diet & Nutrition : Eating Based on Traditional Chinese Medicine 

Diet   & Nutrition

Food and beverages provide the energy and nutrients you need to improve health, manage disease, and reduce the risk of disease.

Find resources on nutrition to help you pay attention to what, when, how often, why, and how much you eat and drink, as well as, help manage diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, kidney disease, and others.

Featured Topics

General Nutrition

  • Weight-loss & Nutrition Myths

  • Muscle Growth


Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity

Kidney Disease

The Five Elements

Each element has unique properties that influence our digestive system and overall wellness.



The kidney and bladder organs are governed by the water element. Foods that contain water help to cleanse and detoxify the body, flush out toxins, and hydrate cells. Water-rich foods include fruits, vegetables, soups, and juices.

  • Warming foods: beef, lamb, chicken, garlic, onions, leeks, ginger

  • Cooling foods: cucumber, watermelon, mung bean, cabbage


The liver and gall bladder organs are governed by the wood element. These organs are responsible for storing and releasing bile, which helps to break down fats.

  • Warming: oatmeal, brown rice, millet, honey, grapes

  • Cooling: celery, lettuce, broccoli, sprouts


The small intestine and heart are governed by the fire element. Foods that are hot or spicy can help increase circulation and metabolism.

  • Warming: chili pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves

  • Cooling: watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries, oranges


The spleen and stomach organs are governed by the earth element. These organs are responsible for breaking down and digesting food.

  • Warming: sweet potatoes, yams, chestnuts, walnuts, peanuts, sesame seeds

  • Cooling: radishes, carrots, beets


The lungs and colon are governed by the metal element. These organs are responsible for breathing, as well as eliminating body fluids and waste.

  • Warming: garlic, onions, leeks, ginger

  • Cooling: pears, apples, bananas, papaya

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