In Chinese medicine, there are definite guidelines to good health and healing illness with food.
The most important aspect is eating cooked food most of the time. It is much less work for the digestion and requires less use of energy or Qi. This means that you have more Qi for other things. Soups, congee, stews and bone broth are the most nourishing of all foods and quickly help the body to recover or regenerate. Iced drinks and icy food destroys the body’s ability to produce enzymes, creates unbalanced gut flora, leading to bloating, constipation and diarrhoea.
When you drink iced water or a soft drink with a fatty meal, the cold drink congeals the fat inside you and disturbs the bowel function. Food gets caught in the bowel and produces toxins, possibly causing dysbiosis and leaky gut long term. The immune system then starts to attack your own body as the toxins are released into the abdomen through the damaged bowel walls. This is made worse by additives, GMO’s and stress.
We have developed so many allergies and food intolerances in the last 2 generations. In order to combat this trend, we need to return to a more traditional whole food diet, remove the pesticides, colourings, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, added sugars and salts. The diets of our grandparents and many Mediterranean areas are very suitable for Australia. We can use the 5 flavours that balance and harmonise each organ and system in Chinese food cures, and eat fresh seasonal food within 24 hours of cooking it. This ensures that there is still a pleasant aroma and the Qi is still in the food.
Eating food at the same time each day and ensuring a quiet meditative attitude (without over-talking or working or watching TV) helps benefit the absorption of our food. Sitting upright and not slouching also helps the food to pass through the body more effectively and a 20-30 minute gentle walk after eating helps digestion and reduces gas build-up.
It is best to not eat till you are full and reduce the variety of foods in each meal as this puts more pressure on the digestion. Different enzymes are needed for different types of food. Most of us are familiar with the food coma feeling after a big celebration like Christmas lunch, dinner, BBQ the next day etc. This can take weeks to really recover from and if the weather is very changeable, we can catch gastro and summer flu much easier. So if you are in this situation it is easy to fix with Chinese herbs, cupping and acupuncture.
For more tips and solutions on health, I invite you to like Bayside Chinese Medicine on Facebook or go to www.baysidechinesemedicine.com
Thank you for reading this.
By Natasha Bakker, Chinese Medicine Practitioner