By: Samantha Kloss, L.Ac., Dipl. O.M.
The Importance of Nutrition from a TCM Point of View
Over the last decade or so, the topics of healthy eating and proclaimed “superfoods” have received massive attention as more people are becoming cognizant of the link between eating whole, unprocessed foods and good health. Instead of focusing on how efficient we can make the process of eating (via fast food or microwaved frozen meals), the new quest is which foods can increase our body’s performance.
Western medicine, as well, has made great progress over the last few years in recognizing the role of the gut biome and how the state of our digestion can impact mood, behavior, and overall health. However, the idea of food being a catalyst for both health and disease has existed for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine. The need for the traditional way of eating is becoming more relevant than ever as the state of our health nationally has declined from decades of fried, sugary, processed foods being the centerfold of our diet.
The view of Chinese medicine is that both good health and disease start in the gut; and therefore, the foods we eat can either be an aid for healing or a weight that drags us down and leaves us feeling heavy, bloated, tired, or sick. Most everyone of us has had at least one experience where eating a particular food has caused our body to not feel so great. I’m here to write about how eating the right foods can do just the opposite! But, what are the “right” foods? This question has become even more confusing as it seems like each year there is a new diet trend that promises to be the best thing for us!
What I personally love about Chinese medicine “food therapy”, a term used to describe food being used medicinally, is that diet is considered unique to the individual and there is no “one size fits all”. The basic principles of eating according to Chinese medicine include eating whole, unprocessed foods, eating foods that are in season, eating mindfully, and eating in accordance with your own unique constitution or Chinese medicine diagnosis. In other words, if you seek to use food medicinally - either for prevention or to heal from a specific ailment, eating the “right” food varies from person to person and is based specifically on your symptoms and constitution.
If you would like learn more, please join me for my upcoming talk about Chinese medicine nutrition on Monday, January 20th at 7:00 pm in our Fort Collins office. I look forward to sharing the benefits of eating from a traditional perspective and how you can use food as a source of medicine to enhance your health! If you would like a more personalized approach, you can schedule a TCM Nutrition Consult with me and we can explore your personal needs together.