We are what we eat
Healthy eating is very important. The types of nutrients in the food we consume determine the composition of every single cell in our body. On average, an adult loses roughly 300 million cells every day and we are replacing them with food. Our bodies are literally manufactured out of food we eat.
Chinese medicine understands that food has different nature and different tastes. “We are what we eat” means our constitutions are closely related to the food we choose to eat. Choosing the suitable food can improve our constitutions, or our potential to remain healthy. Here we discuss a few common types of diet and related patterns of body constitutions and provide advice on how to improve if one wishes.
The “Damp” person
Those who love high fat and high carbohydrate food would usually feel heavy in the body, and cloudy in the head. Those symptoms get worse in the afternoons. This presentation in Chinese medicine is called “dampness” accumulation in the body. Then how to get rid of “dampness”, and feel lighter in the body and clearer in the brain? Here are some tips:
- Stop or minimise the intake of fried food
- Increase whole grains and seasonal vegetables in the diet
- Eat warm food and
- Do moderate exercise.
The “Hot” people
“Hot” here does not really mean popular. Australia is a red meat consumption country. In Chinese medicine, eating too much red meat will produce too much heat in the body. Red meat lovers usually have red cheeks, are less tolerant to heat, feel hot and sweaty easily and crave for cold drinks. These symptoms will subside once red meat is reduced from the diet.
The “Blood” weakness type
Vegetarian and vegan diet or people who don’t like eating much meat tend to show “blood” weakness in Chinese medicine. Blood weakness is not equal to anaemia. Those people may have pale complexion, experience dizziness or low energy or feel cold in the hands and feet. They are recommended to take less raw or cold food and drinks. Replacing salad with steamed vegetable and having soup more often could be a very good start.
A healthy diet in Chinese medicine is a balanced diet, is eating many varieties in a small quantity. Whole grains, meat (red or white), vegetables and fruits, natural, seasonal, whole food and food of different colours should be included in our everyday diet. It is recommended to take at least 20 different types of food every day. In Geelong we are fortunate to have access to fresh, local and varieties of food. Let us make good use of that.