|Posted by Gwen Williams on August 14, 2013 at 10:30 PM|
Did you know that the nature or properties of the foods you eat, how you eat and your frame of mind, affects nutritional intake and ultimate wellness?
The stomach and spleen are paired in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and together this system, along with the lung/large intestine system, provides the life-giving energy the body needs to feed and protect itself. Many imbalances and health issues according to TCM diagnosis, start with stomach/spleen issues. Western medical practitioners and naturopaths also believe many problems related to health, such as inflammation, allergies and autoimmune disorders, start with digestive problems.
According to TCM, the stomach and spleen are responsible for transformation and transportation of nutrients and fluids. The stomach likes dampness, warm temperatures and is affected by emotions. The stomach and spleen dominate muscle strength, control blood and transform dampness. Examples of symptoms related to issues with the spleen and stomach show up as pale colouring to the mouth/lips, yellowing of complexion, fatigue, diarrhea, easy bruising, prolapses, varicose veins, edema, nausea, digestive issues (bloating, gas, pain), lack of taste, heavy limbs and prolonged menstruation or bleeding.
The nature of the food is important. Overly spicy food or dry food can aggravate the stomach causing “heat” or “yin deficiency” problems. Cold or raw foods can cause stagnation with bloating, gas, flatulence or pain. If you already have a “cold” imbalance then it is OK to eat spicy foods. If you already have a “heat” imbalance then cold and raw is OK. The situation is different for every person. If you find you are ravenous for food at certain times of the day, chances are you have stomach heat. Food consisting of a warm, moist, neutral balance is best.
In terms of how you eat, it is important to chew well and eat meals at regular times. Don’t over-indulge, eat too fast, nibble, read while eating, eat too late at night, think about work, worry, or be sad or angry while eating. Emotional strain is a detriment to good digestion. A positive frame of mind is best. In particular, worry, over thinking and over analysing, even when not eating, can affect digestion over a long period of time and can lead to chronic deficiencies.
So my advice is: be mindful of your eating habits, maintain a balance of temperature and moisture, chew well, eat on a regular schedule and most of all, be happy when eating!