Eat with the Seasons: Late Summer

Seasonal eating is a key part of TCM diet and nutrition and it is a bit more than just eating your seasonal farmers market’s produce.

The Chinese calendar divides the year into 24 seasonal points 二十四节气 (also called “solar terms”). These 2-week long seasonal periods make up the 5 seasons. There are certain foods, both dried and fresh, that are more suitable for a particular seasonal point. Since the dietary recommendations for adjacent seasonal points are often similar, and many of you live in climates that may not experience all 24 seasonal points, so we’ve summarized this wisdom into 5 seasons to make the information more practical. 

For example, if you live in the Southern hemisphere, you should refer to “Winter” when you are experiencing “Summer.” 

Let us eat with season and tune-in to mother nature.


Late Summer Seasonal Points 节气


Greater Heat | 大暑 | 07.22 - 08.06

During Greater Heat, most parts of China enter the hottest season of the year, during which the temperature could reach above 35 degrees celsius in many cities.

Beginning of Autumn | 立秋 | 08.07 - 08.21

It reflects the end of summer and the beginning of autumn. The fruitful season is approaching.


Late Summer Dietary Key Words

Spleen and Stomach health

Earth element

Naturally Sweet flavors

Dampness-reducing, Cooling, Yellow-toned foods

*The most important time for Digestive Health*


Late Summer's "Good" Food List

  • Vegetables: Chinese yam, celtuce, winter melon, carrot, spinach, summer squash, mushroom, celery root, eggplant, zucchini, napa cabbage, fava beans, snap pea, corn, tomato, seaweed
  • Fruits: watermelon, apple, berries, peaches, plums, prunes, banana, cranberry, fig, quince, coconut, pineapple, papaya
  • Protein:  lean pork, mungbean, azuki beans, coix seed, soybean, pistachio
  • Carbohydrates: barley, rice, millet, oats, wheat
  • Herbal: lotus leaf 荷叶, lotus seed 莲子, aged tangerine peel 陈皮, Qian Shi 芡实, Bai Zhu 白术, Fu Ling 茯苓, Sha Ren 砂仁, hawthorn berry 山楂, fish mint 鱼腥草
  • Other: early summer foods also applies
  • To Limit: iced beverage, fried or high-fat foods, very sweet foods, alcoholic beverage
Written by Five Seasons TCM

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