chinese medicine & dietary advice
How do Chinese medicine practitioners help people with their dietary issues? A large number of people that come to my office typically have diets that are actually causing a great deal of the issues they are coming in for. I see a lot of people with stomach issues such as Chrohn’s disease, gastritis, GERD, constipation, loose stool, acid reflux, celiac disease, IBS, Colitis, excessive bloating and gas. These conditions are not normal and usually there is a food or several foods causing minor to severe reactions in the gastrointestinal region. Food not only can cause reactions with the stomach but can cause skin issues such as eczema and acne too.
food is medicine
It seems like more people are beginning to realize that there are some foods that might be good to either reduce their consumption or completely take out of the diet. The 5 worst are sugar, dairy, wheat (gluten), corn and soy. A few other things to mention would be caffeinated sodas and fried foods.
Let’s start with sugar, most people know that sugar is not good for you but what a lot of people don’t know is that sugar feeds cancer cells and candida. If that’s not a great reason to cut down on sugar it also causes phlegm production in the body. Phlegm can cause havoc in the body by causing sinusitis, acne (whiteheads), and weight gain for starters. Dairy is very similar to sugar as well. Most people that come to see me with sinusitis typically consume way too much dairy and sugar. Causing perpetual stuffy nose.
Wheat is another food that the media has claimed for decades is very healthy for you. I ran across a book several years ago called 'Wheat Belly'. The idea behind the book is that wheat from 50 years ago and beyond is not the same type of wheat of today. Due to genetically modification the wheat is causing inflammation in the body which is leading to stomach issues and disease. Soy and corn are also being genetically modified and causing the same effect. There has been a couple studies outside of the US on GMO foods with mice. The long term effects were infertility by the 3rd generation. This could be the reason infertility is so rampant within the US at this time.
Another issue that people may not understand is eating cold and warm foods. In the winter time eating raw foods isn’t always the best. It’s cold outside, the body is colder than normal and adding raw (cold) vegetables into the body can be very hard on the stomach. Many people that eat raw in the winter time can notice having abnormal loose stools, excessive gas or food sitting in the gut for too long. It’s much better to slow cook your food in the winter. You will still get the nutrients and will be much easier on the stomach than raw. Summertime, go wild on the raw foods and smoothies. The same goes for summertime with over eating spicy foods. This can cause internal heat within the body causing acid reflux or constipation. This is very simplistic because everyone is different and has different patterns that I would want to figure out, but in general solid advice for the average person.
If you are wondering then what would be good to eat during the summer time? Some great cooling foods would be watermelon, cucumbers, iceberg lettuce, greens of all sorts, celery and really any melon that is in season during the summer. Warming foods during the winter time to eat would be onions, walnuts, squash, garlic, cinnamon and lamb.
When buying food, such as fruits and vegetables eating what’s in season usually will be warming or neutral during winter and cooling or neutral during the summer time. Chinese medicine is very in tune with the cycles of life and seasons. Following the cycles of life can help the body stay in tune.