Metabolic Values of Foods

The metabolic values of foods as heating or cooling is a fundamental concept in Humoral Medicine, of which medical astrology is a part of.
Metabolic Value of Foods in Humoral Medicine

Humoral medicine is based on the theory of four humors – blood, phlegm, yellow bile (yellow choler), and black bile (black choler) – and their corresponding temperaments combining hot, cold, moist, and dry characteristics.

The basic principle is to maintain a balance of these humors and qualities in the body for optimal health. This elemental, or humoral, classification guides dietary recommendations for different body birth temperaments and conditions diagnosed through a horary consultation.

The foods listed below closely align with the Unani-Tibb (Greek) perspective on their inherent qualities. Corresponding metabolic value of food lists can be found in all branches of Humoral Medicine such as Chinese (TCM), Korean, Tibetan medicines, Ayurveda and various Native cultures around the world. This ancient dietary wisdom is  based on the ancient practice of balancing opposites using food as a core therapeutic modality.

Metabolic Value: Hot and Dry. Foods that increase the Fire element / Yellow Choler humor.

Meatsall small bird, meat, chicken, lobsters, mackerel, oily fish, pilchards, prawns, sardines
Vegetablesbitter gourd, celery, green pepper, leek, onion, red pepper, yellow pepper
Fruitsavocado, grapes
Nutscashews, hazel nuts, pecan nuts, walnuts
Grains & Seedscelery seeds, chickpeas, fenugreek seeds, gram flour, mustard seeds, papad
Dairy Productseggs
Oilsmustard oil
Spices & Herbsaniseed, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, geechved chilli, fenugreek, lavender, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, rocket, rosemary, saffron, tarragon
Drinksalcohol, herbal teas (see herbs)
Flavourantsgrape juice, pungent and bitter flavourants
Condiments & Spreadschilli sauce, mustard sauce, peri-peri sauce
Confectionary & Desserts-
Dishesspicy dishes

Metabolic Value: Cold and Moist. Foods that increase the Water element / Phlegm humor

Meatsduck, rabbit
Vegetablesbeetroot, baby marrow, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, itchis, melons, squash, lady fingers (okra), pawpaw, pears, lettuce, prickly pears, pumpkin, quinoa, radish, sprouts, spanspek, soya beans, sweet apples, tofu, zucchini
Fruitsapricot, cranberries, figs, kiwi fruit, mulberries
Grains & Seedscucumber seeds, linseed, melon seeds, pumpkin seeds, rice cakes, rice, semolina
Dairy Productscoconut milk, cow's milk, goats milk, buttermilk, butter, margarine, rice milk, soya milk
Spices & Herbscardamom, coriander, cumin, vanilla
Drinksmilk shakes, rooibos, sugar cane, juice, water
Flavourantsfructose, glucose, rose syrup
Condiments & Spreads-
Confectionary & Dessertscustard, ice cream, sago
Cerealspronutro, rice crispies

Metabolic Value: Hot and Moist. Foods that increase the Air element / Blood humor

Meatsbuck, goat, goose, lamb, liver, mutton, turkey
Vegetablesartichokes, asparagus, olives, spinach, spring onion, sweet potato, turnips
Fruitsbananas, dates, guavas, mangoes, peaches, papaya
Nutsalmonds, brazil nuts, pistachios, apricot kernels
Grains & Seedsbread, bulgar wheat, flour, pasta, rye bread, sunflower seeds, wheat, macaroni, dill seeds
Dairy Productsclarified butter, condensed milk, cheese, cream cheese, mother's milk (for babies), fresh cream
Oilscastor oil, olive oil, sunflower oil
Spices & Herbsbay leaves, black pepper, cayenne pepper, chives, ginger, fennel, green masala (see herbs), marjoram, mint, sage, soya sauce, thyme, turmeric, watercress, white pepper
Drinksgreen tea, hot water, juices (see fruits), herbal teas
Flavourantshoney, molasses, salt, sugars
Condiments & Spreadsmayonnaise
Confectionary & Dessertsbiscuits, cakes, chocolate, liquorice, vermicelli
Cerealsall bran flakes, honey smaks, muesli, nutri-k, nutriflic, oats, puffed wheat, taystes wheat, weetbix
Dishesbran, sweet dishes

Metabolic Value: Cold and Dry. Foods that increase the Earth element / Black Choler humor

Meatsbeef, biltong (deer), crabs, fish, knuckles, mussels, ostrich, oysters, pork, snails, snook, tripe, tuna
Vegetablesbrussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, sauerkraut, tomatoes
Fruits(all sour fruits), green apples, berries, coconut, china/dry fruit, granadilla, grape fruit, lemon, lime, naartjies, oranges, pineapple, plums, pomes, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, sultanas
Grains & Seedsbarley, beans (all types), corn, couscous, lentils, maize, mielies, popcorn, poppy seeds, samp, sesame seeds
Dairy Productsegg white, sour cream, sour milk, yoghurt
Oilscoconut oil, corn oil, sesame oil
Spices & Herbsbasil, tamarind
Drinkscoffee, ice, sour fruit juices, tea (black)
Condiments & Spreadsbalsamic, vinegar, peanut butter, pickles, tomato sauce, worcestershire sauce
Confectionary & Desserts-
Cerealscornflakes, maltabella, melie meal, millet
Dishessour dishes

The Traditional Healer’s Handbook by G M Chishti is an invaluable resource for dietary adjustments and herbal treatment according to horary diagnosis of the elements / humors.

Metabolic Value of Foods in Humoral Medicine

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