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.