The relationship between cold-hot nature and nutrient contents of foods

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Abstract

Aim:

All foods in Traditional Chinese Medicine are categorised into ‘the four natures’: cold, cool, warm and hot. The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between the nutrient content of these foods and their cold-hot nature category.

Methods:

For the purposes of this study, 284 foods were selected and grouped by their cold-hot nature category. Twenty-six nutrient content values for each food were derived from the China Food Composition database 2002.

Results:

Ten nutrients were found to be associated with the cold-hot nature category of foods. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, five nutrients correlated with the cold-hot natures of foods. Large amounts of fat, carbohydrate and selenium were significantly associated with the hot nature of foods (P < 0.01) while the amount of iron and copper were significantly associated with the cold nature of foods (P < 0.05).

Conclusion:

The results suggest that the nutrient contents of foods may be one of distinguishing factors for the categorisation of cold-hot nature of foods.

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