Diet according to Traditional Chinese Medicine
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), healthy eating habits are the foundation of good health. A nutritious diet consists of local, seasonal foods and includes lots of vegetables, fruits, complex carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins. In TCM, you should eat according to your body constitution, current health conditions and current season.
Here are a few TCM dietary principles that will help you stay healthy:
- Eat at regular hours and never skip breakfast
The Stomach meridian is at its peak between 7:00 and 9:00am, making this the best time to have breakfast. The last meal of the day should be light and taken at least four hours before going to bed.
- Eat protein with every meal
Your digestive system processes proteins more slowly than carbohydrates, and this keeps the blood glucose more even. Some good sources of protein are: eggs, chicken and other meats (preferably organic), fish, lentils, beans, soy, as well as nuts and seeds.
- Drink warm water or herbal tea before each meal
By doing so, the stomach muscles will relax and the meal will be digested easier.
- Avoid sweets and deep-fried foods altogether
According to TCM, sweets and too many oily foods damage the Spleen (the Spleen and Stomach meridians form a pair that is responsible for digestion). By eating these foods, you will impair the digestive system’s capacity to properly process its contents, which will lead to: bloating, gas, fatigue, and foggy thinking.
- Eat according to the seasons
This principle helps support good digestion. During the winter, you should eat warming foods such as soups and cooked meals with meats and root vegetables that are in season. During the summer, it’s important to cut down on meat consumption and eat more cooling foods like salads and raw veggies.
- Detox once a year
The myriad of chemicals you are exposed to, sedentary habits and the stresses of life lead to the accumulation of toxins in all body tissues. A body that is burdened with toxins is sluggish. This can lead to fatigue, poor immunity, chronic infections, and many other conditions. By doing a body “spring cleaning”, you will improve your digestion and health, and most likely shed unwanted pounds.