Eating Well According to Chinese Medicine
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, food is heavily relied upon as medicine. What and how you eat affects the function of your digestive organs which in turn influences the qi (energy) and function of all of the organs.
Here are the key rules for eating according to Chinese medicine principles:
- Timing – it is best to eat at the same time every day. 7-9 a.m. is considered to be the “stomach” time, while 9-11 a.m. is the “spleen” time. Both organs are essential to digestion in Chinese medicine. Eating a hearty breakfast between 7-9 a.m. works with the timing of the internal organs.
- Weather temperature – External cold temperatures dictate the consumption of warmer foods like soups and stews, external heat calls for colder foods like salads
- What you are doing while eating – You should be focused on eating, not watching TV, talking on the phone, surfing the internet, driving, walking etc.
- Quantity – You should eat to the point of 2/3 satiety, to allow some reserves in the digestive tract for the process of digestion.
- Cooked vs Raw – in Chinese medicine, consumption of too many raw foods (lots of salads and raw fruit) is damaging to the spleen (considered one of the organs of digestion in Chinese medicine). This is why salads aren’t on the menu much in Chinese restaurants. It’s better to eat foods lightly cooked like steamed or stir-fried to avoid damaging digestion.