Blood Deficiency in Chinese medicine is a health pattern not a disease. It is an imbalance that can result from overwork, over stimulation, stress, lack of sleep, and poor diet. In Chinese medicine blood does more than oxygenate cells. It nourishes our tendons, joints, bones, skin hair and nails. It is considered the foundation of the mind. The health of our blood influences our memory and mental activity/focus. It helps to keep our mind clear and calm. It also helps us sleep deeply.
In Chinese medicine, food forms blood through the digestive process. A diet that is deficient in nutrients or healthy fats can cause blood deficiency symptoms. Symptoms of blood deficiency include dry skin, hair and brittle nails, floaters in vision, insomnia, fatigue, poor memory and concentration, infertility, headaches, shortness of breath, anemia, scanty or no periods, dizziness, muscle cramps or numbness.
Foods to Add:
All animal meats including organ meats but especially beef and buffalo, bone broths, eggs, tuna, anchovy, oysters, mussels, clams.
Beneficial legumes and grains: black beans, adzuki beans, fava, kidney beans, chickpeas, barley, corn, oats, sweet rice, what bran.
Vegetables and fruits: Chlorophyll rich foods like dark leafy greens such as spinach, chard, kale, collards, fresh parsley, beets, pumpkin, sweet potatoes. Goji berries (no more than 10 berries a day), cherries, black berries, blueberries, apricots, dates, figs, grapes. Molasses and raw honey is the best sweetener for this condition.
Dairy/fats: Yogurt in moderation, hard cheeses, coconut oil, ghee, butter, olive oil.
If you’re not used to eating meat start with 3-5 oz 3-5x week.
Molasses and raw honey is the best sweetener for this condition.
Beneficial Spices: Black sesame seeds, licorice (tea), ginger, cinnamon, clove, fennel, parsley
Food to Decrease and Avoid:
Hurried eating, skipping meals, cold salad, cold drinks, vegan and vegetarian diets.