Nutrition in Chinese Medicine


What to eat and what not to eat has become very confusing for most people. We are bombarded with contradictory advice on whether our diets should be high protein, low carbohydrate, to take supplements or not to take supplements, or to eat 5 + a day of fruits and vegetables. There is constant worry of what chemical residues are in our foods and where they have come from. In Chinese Medicine food is not only seen to provide nourishment but is also used for its medicinal properties. Not one diet fits all but there are some general guidelines to go by.
• Our Stomach is seen as a pot of soup that nourishes our bodies to function at their best. The food in the pot is cooked by the fire that is generated from the digestive energy of the spleen. It is the job of the digestive organs (Stomach, spleen and pancreas) to breakdown and process the food and drink that we send its way. It then passes this digested content on through the rest of the pipe organs to be processed some more and absorb for various functions.
• We need to keep in mind that our body’s temperature sits between 36.5o-37.5o. This is the optimal temperature for it to be able to carry out its functions. If we put chilled foods and drinks into our stomachs it requires the use of vital energy to bring it to our body temperature in order for it to be digested. Over time this depletes the qi (energy) of the spleen and stomach disrupting its ability to aide digestion. If insufficient nutrients are present and qi is depleted then the chain of events leads to disease. The gut is central to all health and often the area that needs to be addressed first in a treatment plan.
• In pregnancy the diet should be fine tuned yet again to meet the demands of the developing baby and to keep the mothers system free from disorders.
• Supporting the natural bacteria in the gut so it can help our immune system protect us is really important. The can be achieved by following a healthy diet but there may be times of stress or infection that this needs to be supplemented.
Depending on each individual constitution, energetic needs and overall function depends on the type of food that should be eaten. This is where we can help you tailor your diet to what should be eating for optimal health.