The health news these days is abuzz with superfoods that everyone “should” make a part of their daily diet. Some are high in antioxidants and reduce the amount of free radicals in your body, like dark chocolate (yum) and berries–especially goji. Others are high in a certain vitamin content—like oranges and grapefruit, which are chock full of Vitamin C—and spinach and beans, which are high in iron.

Eastern vs. Western Perspectives

While TCM understands that foods have certain beneficial properties, the Eastern perspective on foods is widely different. Instead of measuring nutritional content, TCM looks at the energetic properties of foods. The essence of certain foods are prescribed as medicine to support various organ systems. But foods are not just taken at face value. The way a food is grown and the season it is grown and harvested in impacts its energetic quality.

For example, Liver Qi likes to move freely. Cucumbers, snap peas and bamboo are perfect foods to support this organ system. Cucumbers and snap peas grow on vines that stretch up and out and attach to anything solid as they reach toward the sunlight. To go a step further, the way the foods are prepared has some bearing on their digestibility.

Digestion

Even if you eat healthy food—the best food available—your body has to be able to digest it. It’s not what you eat, but what you can digest that’s key. And digestion goes beyond food. You also digest your thoughts, emotions, and the things you encounter and experience in your daily life. If your digestive system isn’t able to process foods, thoughts, and emotions, you don’t get the benefit from the food you’re eating.

Can you actually process what you’ve eaten? Several organ systems must cooperate to process your food and use the essence of that food to support the body. The first step toward healing is strengthening your digestive system. In doing so, food can be used as a natural energy resource to support your healing efforts.

Here’s a Quick Tip:

The Stomach loves warmth! Eliminate raw foods and iced drinks. Blanch, steam, saute, or stir fry your vegetables. Add cinnamon, turmeric or ginger. These small changes will allow your digestive system to rest so it doesn’t have to work so hard to break down and process your foods.

To read more, check out Grand Master Lu’s book, Digesting the Universe: A Revolutionary Tip for Healthy Metabolism Function.

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Round Table: Integrating Psychology and Chinese Medicine: May 12: Psychologists discuss the impact of Chinese medicine and Qigong on their personal healing journeys and professional treatment protocols.

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Food, Metabolism Function, TCM

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