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Diet & Healthy Living

Chinese Medicine is rooted in giving you the power to take your health into your own hands

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The importance of diet for living heathily

Therapeutic use of food is perhaps most fundamental to the practice of Chinese Medicine.  Flavors are classified as either sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty or bland.  The flavors of foods are an important consideration in treating or preventing certain conditions. Foods are also selected, based on whether they are either, cool , cold, hot, warm or neutral.  This property does not only refer to the preparation, but  to the effect it has when consumed.

Keep reading  below to learn more about the diets for different seasons. 

 

The Different Diets

Chinese Medicine: Diet & Healthy Living 

Therapeutic use of food is perhaps most fundamental to the practice of Chinese Medicine.  Flavors are classified as either sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, salty or bland.  The flavors of foods are an important consideration in treating or preventing certain conditions. Foods are also selected, based on whether they are either, cool , cold, hot, warm or neutral.  This property does not only refer to the preparation, but  to the effect it has when consumed.  

 

Cooling & Calming Foods

Fruits & Green Vegetables

Apples, Banana, Grapefruit, Oranges, Plums, Melons, Loquats

Aparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, lettuce

 

Grains

Wheat, Soy-bean sprouts, Tofu, 

 

Seafood

Crab, Fish, Oysters, 

 

Drinks

Green Tea, English tea 

 

Spices

Mint, parsley, Salt, Vanilla

 

Vitamins

Vit C, Vit B3, Vit B6, 

 

Minerals

Calcium, Magnesium

 

Cooking 

Stir-fry, Raw salads

 

 

 

Warm & Stimulating Foods

 Meats & Sea foods

Anchovies, Lamb, Venison

 Chicken

Crayfish, lobster, Eel, Shrimp, Prawns., mussels, 

 

Vegetables & Fruit

 Pumpkin, Broad beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Peppers, Winter Squash, pumpkin seeds, 

Cherry, Litchi, Longan, 

Chestnuts

 

Diary

 Yogurt

 

Spices

Basil, Bay Leaf, Cardarmon, Cayenne pepper, Cinnamon, Clove, Curry Powder, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Nutmeg, Oregano. 

 

Vitamins

Vit E, 

 

Cooking Methods

Baking & Casseroles

 

 

 

 Neutral Foods

 Vegetables

Endive, Potatoes, 

Fruits

Apricots, Grapes, Papaya

Grains

Rice, Adzuki beans, Pasta, Soyabeans,Wheat, Oats

Meats

Beef, Pork, 

 Seafood

Salmon, Sardines, Squid, Trout , Tuna

Diary

Milk, 

Spices & Condiments

Sugar

Cooking Methods

Stir-fry

The characteristic of the food is selected opposite to the nature of the disease being treated and can applied to the seasonal changes.

 

 

 

Spring Diet (Wood Element)

In spring, it is the season dominated by changing weather from cold winter to warm summer. 

When the pores of your skin dilate due to the warmer temperatures after the cold winter, it is easier for "wind-evil" to enter the body causing coughing, a stuffy or runny nose, headaches, dizziness and sneezing. 

 Balanced

Beginnings

Elimination

creativity

Imbalanced

Same old stuff

Congestion

 

Spring Diet

It is important to eat food that can protect the body during spring’s changeable nature. 

Lighter diet with more raw foods- greens, sprouts, salads, fruits

some grains but fewer heavier foods like meat and diary products, 

Vegetables: asparagus, celery, cucumbers, leafy greens and sprouts, 

Fresh fruits: pear, apple, citrus fruits, berries, lemons, sour plums, limes, 

Grains: corn, wheat, brown rice, and  nuts, 

Herbs: dandelion, Chrysanthemum, peppermint teas

Spring Bircher Muesli 

Avoiding foods like: oil fried foods, overly preserved foods, reduce alcohol. 

 

 

 

Summer  Diet (Fire Element)

In summer, heat / fire dominates.

Fire Element. Relates to the Heart & Small Intestine.

Characterised by excess body heat, profuse sweating, parched mouth and throat, and constipation. causing more health problems. 

Diet & Exercise are important for the Heart. 

Summer is an excellent time to start with outdoor exercise. 

Balance

Lots of sun 

Vigorous exercise

Sweat it out

swimming

Imbalance

Hiding inside

Afraid to play outside

 

Summer Diet

Foods should be lightly cooked (steaming and stir-frying) and the diet packed with fruits, salad greens.

Cooling foods and bitter vegetable based drinks will help drain qi downwards to quell excess fire heat. 

Grains, broccoli, spinach, apricots, peaches, apples, salad greens, cucumber, lemons, lemongrass, mint.

Fresh Fish, crab, cuttlefish, spanish mackerel

Mango & Orange Coulee

Avoid: While overly warming yang foods should be avoided. Not too many Iced drinks may also damage digestion.  other fatty food

 

Long Summer Diet (Earth Element)

The long summer is characterized by heat, rain and humidity giving rise to increased sweating, poor appetite, fluid retention, heavy limbs and softer stools. 

Harvest fruits are ripening and falling and vegetables are growing plump on the vines. 

Exercise: tone up with weights and isometric exercises as your outdoor activities will decrease with autumn & winter approaching 

Balance

Relaxation 

Breathing deep

Balanced intake

Imbalance

Resisting change

Shallow breathing

Nervous eating

 

Long Summer Diet 

Eat lightly with cooling foods and drinks which can assist with remove humidity and  reduce fluid retention.

As the weather changes cooler a greater proportion of protein rich foods, whole grains, seeds and sprouts, diary & eggs are recommended 

Apples, corns, grapes, watermelon, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, Beer

fish & poultry: Carp, clams, crab, cuttlefish, Garfish, Duck, Chicken, 

 

 

 

Autumn Diet  (Metal Element) 

Is the season of ripening.

Dryness dominates and can easily injure the lungs, causing heavy coughing, blood in the sputum, dry nose and throat and pains in the chest, dry and wrinkled skin, dry hair and scalp, dry mouth and cracked lips, and dry hard stools. Insufficient body fluid is harmful. 

Balance

Consolidation

Communication

New disciplines-productive 

Study, clarity

Quiet walks

Imbalance 

Indecision

Confusion

Overindulgence

Coffee, smoking

 

Autumn Diet

You should eat more nourishing yin food to promote body fluid and soothe the lungs with longer cooking methods (baking and roasting) help to draw heat into the body

Juice Cleansing in Mid-autumn: morning: apple-pear juice, 

Lunch: vegetable juices like carrot, beet, celery, zucchini or parsely. Yams 

Omnivores: More grains (oats)  and meats: Beef, Eel, Shrimp, mussels, prawns.

Vegetarians: More grains, nuts, beans and diary. 

Sweet potatoes & yams, oats, 

Skin Brushing to stimulate clearing of toxins.

 

 

Winter Diet (Water Element) 

Cold is a "yin-evil", which dominates and injures the body's yang energy. If cold enters the body through the skin, it produces symptoms of chills >fever, headaches and body pain.

 If it reaches the meridians, it produces muscle cramps and pains in the bones and joints. If it enters as far as the internal organs, cold excess causes nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pains, coldness in limbs and many other complications. 

In-balance

Keep Warm, 

Sleep well,

Look within 

Counter

Overactive

Late nights & parties

Lack of rest & sleep

 

Winter Diet

To prevent the attack of cold, plenty of warming yang foods and slightly fatty foods should be included in the diet. Traditionally a time for soups, stews and casseroles. 

Baked and roasted dishes, soups , stews, meats, turnips, seaweeds, mushrooms, squashes, melons and sea-salt and soy-sauce 

 

In additional, foods are used to introduce herbs for treatment of acute and chronic disorders.  The particular food is selected for its ability to work with the herbal component to bring about the best therapeutic result. Different forms of medicated diets.