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Nutrition and Food Choices in Chinese Medicine

healthy eating according to Chinese medicine
healthy eating according to Chinese medicine

“You are what eat” may sound cliché, but from a Traditional Chinese Medicine perspective it is law.  Along with acupuncture, food is a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to health and vitality.

Digestion is a broad concept in the lexicon of Oriental Medicine.  East and West agree: we take in and derive energy from food.  In modern-day Western thinking, we tend to regard carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals as the building blocks of our diet (and thus, the building blocks of our physicality.)  TCM considers the more subtle energetic properties of food as well as other substances we take in, even the air we breathe and thoughts we think.

Wellness starts with a balanced diet.  Variety is important because different foods offer different energetic values. The body not only transforms food into useable substances for organs and cells, but the body’s response to the energetic quality of food affects all realms of being: body, mind and spirit.  Lack of dietary balance will begin to weaken the body, making it more vulnerable to illness and disharmony.

The process of digestion and assimilation is a key factor in the optimal functioning of the body as a whole.  Choosing a variety of right foods for your unique health requirements supports the natural, self-regulating ability of the body and makes it more resistant to illness and imbalance.

Stay tuned for Part II of our discussion of food through the lens of Oriental Medicine: the Five Tastes Theory.

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