Experts say seafood is good for you because it’s high in protein and minerals and low in saturated fat. So far, so good. But there are more health benefits than that if we look at food from the unique TCM perspective.
Different foods also have healing essences or specific energy signatures that support the body’s organs and meridians, according to TCM’s Five Element Theory framework. This perspective takes us beyond food’s nutritional value to its energetic power. Five predominating tastes– bitter, sweet, spicy, salty, sour– as well as color, where it was grown, how quickly it grew, if it grew in the ocean or on a tree or in the ground, influence how and why the nutritional essence of a specific food can benefit one of your organs.
Seafood–all kinds, including seaweed–are associated with the Kidney, which the Five Element framework understands is associated with the element of water. Anything that grows in a river, ocean, or pond, will benefit the Kidney. This organ gains support from a salty taste; consequently anything from the ocean’s salty environment will also help strengthen the Kidney. Ever have a craving for salt? This is the body’s S.O.S. that your Kidney organ is out of balance! Incidentally, the health of your Kidney energy is directly linked to your longevity, so it’s super important that you take care of the energy of this vital organ system.
Salmon (the wild kind) is especially good for building Kidney strength because every year during mating season, it has to swim upstream. Just think about how much power they need to make the journey! You can also eat salmon roe, which has the extra bonus of being rich in Vitamin D. Shellfish have a powerful essence for boosting Kidney energy, so if you’re craving shrimp, mussels, oysters, or lobster, go ahead and enjoy!
Watch the Youtube below to see Master Lu demonstrate an easy, delicious scallop soup. You can use asparagus in place of diced carrots and celery for an even tastier, dinner-party-worthy dish.