Health Intuitive

Alternative Medicine News

Some Chinese Nutritional Therapy Tips To Healthy Living

According to TCM or traditional Chinese medicine in Bellingham, each person is unique and there are no ‘bad’ foods or ‘good’ foods; there are just foods that may be or maybe not appropriate per individual, just as there are suitable plants and herbs for each person based on what his or her health needs are. Warming yang tonic herbs would be the right stuff for people suffering from fatigue and cold; however, for someone who is deficient in yin and suffering from night sweats and constant thirst, these same warming nourishing herbs may only cause headaches and irritation to that person. Foods, like herbs, have varying energetic attributes; they can, for instance, be cooling or warming. Nutritional therapy, in TCM, is just one branch of a larger tree of medicine, which includes herbal medicine and acupuncture.

Raw Foods  

Thirty years ago, well-meaning health food advocates promoted the advantages of eating raw foods and the significance of enzymes from eating raw food. In TCM, this logic contains three fundamental errors:

People eating excess amounts of raw foods often experience loose bowel movements throughout the day. This means that the enzymes make their digestive systems purge more efficiently, which is actually, a TCM sign of Spleen damage.

There is no universal nutritional guideline that’s going to be appropriate for all people.

Raw foods are ‘cold’ by nature and so, too much eating of these foods will injure the Spleen organ energetic system. This energetic system, in TCM, is paired with the Abdomen energetic system and is very important in the normal absorption and digestion of food. So, a meal containing too much juiced vegetables, raw vegetables, fruit juices, and raw fruits is going to have the opposite effect on your health.

Foods for Internal Dampness and Deficient Spleen Qi

  • Aduki bean
  • Yams
  • Amaranth
  • Winter squash
  • Asparagus
  • Turnip
  • Beans
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Bitter greens such as dandelion and arugula
  • Rye
  • Cooked carrots
  • Radish  
  • Cooked celery
  • Pumpkin
  • Cooked soy
  • Millet
  • Garlic
  • Green onions
  • Horseradish
  • Kasha

We recommend the herbal formula Restore the Middle Way

Use or avoid in small amounts: meat, dairy, tofu, eggs, refined carbohydrates, sweets, fried foods, cucumber, watermelon, fruit juices and fruits.

The negative side of drinking too much water

According to TCM, while drinking too much water everyday may seem beneficial as it helps you to stay hydrated, forcing fluids into your body each day may be only putting an extra burden on your Kidneys. In addition, long-term thirst and dryness are most probably a sign of Deficient Yin where your cells are not absorbing water properly. If you are Yin Deficient, Yin foods and tonic herbs should be used to bolster the permeability of the cells so that the water you drink can actually be used by the cells.

One very sure way to shock your acupuncturist would be to say that you’re drinking huge amounts of iced water because you read in some magazines that it would help you lose weight by speeding up your metabolism. According to Chinese medicine, this is actually false since besides injuring the Spleen, it also weakens the energetic systems of your Kidney; the outcome would be more severe imbalances that may take years to repair as well as a gain in weight.

Foods to Treat Deficient Yin

Short grain brown rice, goji berry, amaranth grain, white mulberry, beets, quinoa, string beans, millet, spirulina, wheat germ, seaweed, barley, tofu, mung beans, black beans, kidney beans, tofu. In moderation: pork, raspberry, clam, blackberry, eggs, sardine, oysters.  For severe conditions: dairy products, grapes, watermelon, banana.

We recommend using an herbal formula called Yin Valley.

Foods to stay away from: red meat, fats, spices, coffee, alcohol

Myth:  one way to detox the body is by drinking large amounts of water.

Many people believe that drinking copious amounts of water is going to bathe the tissue and cells and can help cleanse the body of waste materials. The fact is, just the quantity of fluids needed for healthy cellular physiological function is going to infiltrate into the tissue; the remainder will be eliminated through urination. Again, when fluids are forced into the body, over time, it will lead to Deficient Kidney Qi and poor health and interrupt the balance of Yin and Yang of the body.

Liver Imbalances Cured by Nutritional Therapy

Expel Liver Wind – celery, chamomile, basil, western skullcap, sage, lemon, fennel, cold-pressed flax oil, ginger, coconut, anise, vinegar, oats, pine nuts, black soybean, and black sesame seed

Stay away from eggs, buckwheat, and crab meat

Cool Liver Heat – raw green vegetable juices, mung beans, daikon radish, mung sprouts, radish, nettle, rhubarb, celery, mushrooms, seaweed, plums, lettuce, chees, rye bread, tofu, quinoa, watercress, amaranth, cucumber, and millet.

Tonify Liver Blood – animal liver, greens, beef, spirulina, pork, red grapes, eggs, blackberries, chicken soup, blueberries, oysters, blackstrap molasses, sesame seed, gelatin, mulberry fruit, cardoon, dates, artichoke, nettle, red beets, avocado, kelp, and avocado.

Warming Foods for Deficient Qi or Yang – aduki beans, basil, beef, black beans, black pepper, butter, chicken, chili peppers, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, kale, lamb, lentils, molasses, mussel, mustard leaf, onion, rosemary, sesame seeds, shrimp, trout, vinegar, walnuts, winter squash,

cooked fruit: guava, coconut, peach, raspberry, cherry, date.

We recommend using an herbal formula called Ancestor Treasure.

Stay away from dairy, raw fruits, wheat, juices and veggies, asparagus, eggplant, wheat and asparagus.

Congee Therapeutic Dishes

If you are recuperating from a severe chronic condition, congees are highly recommended for eating if you want to rebuild your health. Consume grain or rice cereal combined with tonic herbs and the right foods. This form of healing porridge is light on your digestive system and is well-suited for people who are depleted with chronic illness. Cook as you would grain or rice.

Congee dish for recipe cancer recovery:

  • A pinch of salt
  • Two cups water
  • One Tablespoon each goji berries, astragalus, and grounded codonopsis, (or three tablespoons of powdered herb formula called Zenergy)
  • One cup brown rice

Congee Dish for Cleansing and Detoxification:

  • A pinch of salt
  • Two cups water
  • One Tablespoon each ground coriander seed, turmeric, and burdock root, (or three tablespoons of a powdered herbal formula called Central River)
  • One cup barley rice

Congee dish for weak digestion:

  • A pinch of salt
  • Two cups water
  • One tablespoon each ground fennel seed, hawthorn berries, and codonopsis
  • One cup brown rice

Chinese Nutritional Therapy and a Healthy Diet

Remember, it’s always important to take care of your Spleen. Your Spleen is responsible for the distribution and conversion of fluids and foods after the abdomen has ripened and rotted them. Simply put, the Spleen decides the way foods are used in the body and it contributes a lot in safe reduction of weight. Using tonic herbs to nourish the Spleen increases the efficiency of the Spleen energetic system. The Spleen is also where the pancreas is located, controls blood sugar levels and regulates the usage of blood sugar. In Chinese medicine, the cravings for sweets is due to Deficient Spleen Qi. The Spleen can be injured by eating damp generating foods and by Dampness itself. Foods to avoid would be raw foods, fried foods, iced drinks, and sugars; interestingly, too much fruits, juicing, and salad can lead to an increase in weight and injure the Spleen.

Again, as mentioned a while ago, there are only inappropriate foods, no ‘bad foods’. Certainly, there are sodas and other non-foods that are ‘bad’ for you. Real natural foods, however, if eaten moderately or appropriately, have a place in our lives. A luxurious slice of pecan pie may not be considered in the list below as a suitable acceptable part of your daily diet, but one must feed the spirit once in a while. Be confident of the wisdom of your body that it will use and absorb all essential nutrients and remove all unhealthy substances. If you tend to reprimand yourself every time you eat pecan pie reminding yourself that it does not contain any vital nutrients and is only going to increase your weight, it definitely will harm your health. Conversely, if you trust the wisdom of your body and relish it, it can’t do any harm to your body (provided it is eaten in moderation).

Useful Dietary Advices

Most advancements in nutritional therapy have more to do enhancing the preparation of food. Most of the listed food needs to be prepared. Taking time for food preparation that will enable you or others to heal is part of the method of treating oneself. Dining out occasionally while making appropriate dietary choices will work temporarily, but if you want long-term wellness, you’ll perhaps need to develop skills in preparing food (unless you have several healthy restaurants near your place).

The next part of the learning process is take your sweet time relishing your meal. You’re likely to derive more nutritional benefits out of a BLT (bacon lettuce tomato) sandwich that you carefully prepared, and ate with gusto in peace and quiet than a tofu burger you smelled while cruising down the highway.

Try to eat, at least, half a cup each of cooked berries, leafy greens, onions-mushrooms, legumes-beans, seeds-nuts, and vegetables everyday; this limits lessens your craving for unhealthy food choices.

Because the Spleen is at its most active in the morning, it is essential that breakfast be added as part of a treatment regimen, as it is a traditional component of Chinese nutritional Therapy, more so if you’re attempting to shed weight.

To avoid eating snacks between meals, you might want to try eatinf miso soup or broths instead. Meals should be eaten before 8 PM.

Eat locally grown or organic foods, as much as possible or when available.

General guidelines to healthy eating to preserve well-being:

This is not a comprehensive list of foods but it could be a starter guideline.

Fruits (5 percent)

Eat many tablespoons of berries daily if possible.

Eat a lot of tomatoes and avocadoes

Moderately consume: apples, apricot, bananas, blackberry pineapple, cantaloupe, cooked peaches, cooked pears, cranberry, figs, goji berry, grapefruit, grapes, guava, honeydew melon, lemon, mulberry, oranges, papaya, plums, pomegranate, quince, raisins, raspberry, stewed apples, strawberries, tangerine, watermelon,

Stay away from all processed/refined fruit juices

Animal Meat (5 to 10 percent)

Moderately consume: cold water fish, eggs, lamb, lean pork, organic beef, organic chicken, quail, seafood

Stay away from canned meats, meat fats, and luncheon meat

Beverages (3 percent caloric)

Consume lots of clean room temperature water, green tea, and herbal teas

Moderately consume: black tea, coffee, oat milk, organic milk, red wine, rice milk, soy milk

Star away from alcohol, beer, forcing liquids, iced beverages, iced tea, iced water, juice, sodas

Dairy (2 to 5 percent)

Moderately consume: cottage cheese, ghee, light sour cream, organic one percent milk, unprocessed cheese, yogurt

Stay away from sweetened yogurts, frozen yogurt, ice cream

Oils (5 percent) – eating foods that are fried only adds to Dampness in the body

Moderately consume: camolina oil, coconut oil, ghee, unrefined/unprocessed canola oil, unrefined/unprocessed oleic safflower oil, unrefined/unprocessed oleic sunflower oil, unrefined/unprocessed olive oil, unrefined/unprocessed sesame oil

Stay away from shortening, refined vegetable oils, refined canola oil, peanut oil, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, palm oil, margarine, hydrogenated vegetable oil, fried foods, cottonseed oil, corn oil, animal fats

Sweeteners (>1 percent) Refined/processed sugars generate Dampness in the body

Consume in small amounts: unrefined/unprocessed cane juice or powder, stevia,

small piece dark chocolate, rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup, local raw honey, date sugar, barley malt, agave

Stay away from any artificial sweeteners like Splenda™ and Nutrasweet™, brown sugar, candy, cane sugar or juice, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, 

turbinado sugar, white sugar

Grains (5 to 15 percent)

Eat lots of: amaranth, barley, bran, brown rice, buckwheat, foods made with whole grains, kashi, millet, oats, rye, short grain brown rice, spelt, whole grain breads, wild rice

Moderately consume: polenta, maize, corn meal

Stay away from: cake, cereal, cookies, foods made w/white flour, French bread, noodles, pasta, potatoes, processed cereals, rolls, soft whole wheat breads, white bread, white rice

Seeds and Nuts (5 to 10 percent), if possible, eat one-fourth cup a day

Eat lots of: shelled seeds & nuts including walnut, sunflower seed, squash seeds, pumpkin seed, pistachio, pine nut, pecans, hummus, flax seed, chia seed, black sesame seed, almond

Stay away from: rancid nuts – *nuts quickly start to deteriorate when they are hulled or shelled, cashews, peanuts, processed peanut butter

Legumes – lentils, peas, beans (15 percent). Try to eat a minimum of half a cup of legumes a day

Eat lots of: whole peas, TVP textured vegetable protein, tofu, tempeh, split peas, soybean, sesame, pinto beans, mung bean, miso, lima beans, lentils, kidney beans, hummus, garbanzo, black-eyed peas, black bean, aduki bean

Vegetables (25 percent). Try to eat a wide variety of veggies, organic if available. Consume a minimum of half a cup of greens a day, half a cup of mixed vegetables a day and one salad.

Eat lots of: yam, winter squash, turnip greens, sweet potato, steamed zucchini, steamed summer squash, steamed celery, steamed cauliflower, steamed carrots, steamed broccoli, snap bean, shallots, seaweed, scallions, rutabagas, peppers, parsnips, turnips, onions, okra, Napa cabbage, mustard greens, mushrooms, leeks, lamb’s quarters, kohlrabi, kale, Jerusalem artichoke, green peas, green beans, grape leaves, gobo-burdock root, eggplant, cooked tomatoes, cooked spinach, cooked beets, collards, chard, cabbage, Brussels sprout, bok choy, asparagus, artichoke.

Moderately consume: raw vegetables, raw tomato, potatoes, lettuce, cucumber, corn.

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