Chinese nutritional therapy espouses quite a number of healthy eating habits that anyone can practice in their everyday lives. In Chinese medicine, prevention is a more important aspect to healthy living than treatment (although this doesn’t mean that Chinese medicine does not offer any effective treatment for illness, it does). Chinese nutritional therapy is one very important aspect to disease prevention although some of its guidelines and recommendations may challenge some of your long held notions about healthy eating. However, you should know that this branch of Chinese medicine has been developed, time-tested, and refined for more than 2500 years and if it didn’t work, then it should have been discarded a long time ago. The fact that this therapy is still used by millions of people throughout the world suggests that it is effective and worth trying.

Some Healthy Eating Habits Recommendations

1. Avoid overeating – Go easy on your bowels and digestive organs. When you are three quarters (75 percent) full, stop eating. Overeating can cause indigestion since it weakens your abdomen and intestines. It can also cause weight gain, gas, decay, constipation, sluggishness, and bloating.

2. Preferably eat cooked foods – Chinese nutritional therapists usually recommend that meals should be served cooked and warm. Too much consumption of raw fruits and vegetables weakens and cools the digestive system which leads to lack of energy, watery stools, and bloating. In Chinese nutrition, cooking facilitates digestion making it easier to digest and absorb the nutrients in the food. On the other hand, the body needs to spend more energy in digesting and breaking down raw or cold foods. Stir-fry cooking and steaming are appropriate ways of cooking since they cook lightly and quickly preserving the precious nutrients in the food.

3. Avoid cold drinks – As much as possible, avoid drinking cold fluids particularly iced drinks because it severely impairs digestions. The process of digestion requires heat to dissolve and melt the substances you eat and drink. Cold by nature contracts and slows and this means cold foods and cold drinks (the colder, the more worse) such as ice cream, hinder and retard digestion, causing stomach discomfort and pain or an upset stomach. Drinking warm liquids like green tea or warm water is preferred. Warm green tea prepares your digestive system to receive and digest food properly while warm-hot water can help wash out toxins in your body. Ten to twenty minutes before eating, drink a cup of warm green tea. This is especially advised if you’ll be consuming fried foods, meat, or their types of heavy food. Post-prandial green tea drinking also promotes digestion.

4. Chew properly and eat slowly – Chewing food is the start of the digestion process. Eat slowly and before you swallow food, chew them thoroughly so they can get quickly and completely digested. If you eat when you are emotionally troubled or angry, your digestion can be severely affected. Therefore, if you feel angry or emotionally upset allow yourself to calm down before eating or totally skip your meal.

5. Eat at a regular and fixed time – Your body gets used to regular practices and this is true in working, sleeping, waking up, and eating meals. If you want a well-functioning body, good health, and well-being it’s vital that you set and maintain a regular time schedule for working, sleeping, waking up, and eating your meals.

6. Exercise before breakfast – Lose weight by doing a bit exercise before breakfast. As you have been sleeping for eight to twelve hours and have not eaten during that time, your body depends on the reserves of fat in your body for energy. One great exercise you can do after waking up in the morning before breakfast is the Abdominal Lift. This is an easy workout and only requires a couple of minutes to perform. In the Abdominal Lift, you use your stomach muscles to lift your stomach upwards and towards your spine. That position is held for a few seconds and then released slowly and gently. To enhance digestion, absorption, and elimination do this exercise one hour after breakfast or after every meal.

7. Walk outdoors after meals – Anytime you exit a restaurant in China, the crew will thank you for coming then utter the words, “man shou”, which means, “walk slowly”. After a meal, taking a slow pleasant walk outside for about 15 minutes can enhance digestion and food absorption. Using your two hands to rub your stomach (specifically in your umbilicus) in slow circling motions in the direction of your colon also facilitates digestion. You can use this as a remedy or to prevent the rise of digestive conditions. You can do this while slowly walking or while standing still.

Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32217-4244
(904) 260-2598