Living in times of high capitalism has made the so called ‘designer diets’ a thing: Cramming your body with all things fancy like probiotics, supplementary vitamins, dietary fibre and others has been the trend in the past decade or so.
But the heart of the matter is: What does your body really want?
Instead of listening to fancy advertisements, maybe we should be taking the TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) approach to food!
Their philosophy is about concentrating on your body’s needs rather than what the advertisements want you to want in your body.
But how do you know what your body needs?
1. Know your body type.
Every individual body needs different nutrition than the next. However, this might be a little different than eating according to your blood type.
Now, for example, all people need fibres, but people with a tendency towards constipation need more of it than others. Similarly, someone with ulcerative colitis needs close to no fibres.
To know your exact body type (according to the TCM system) see a professional acupuncturist.
2. Evaluate your dietary recommendations.
Through a comprehensive medical history questionnaire, tongue and pulse diagnosis, TCM practitioners strive to determine the differentiation pattern of each person to make a unique treatment plan and dietary recommendations.
Depending on the diagnosis, a TCM practitioner can suggest foods based on the treatment for these TCM patterns.
There are also a number of online articles for everyone to consult about TCM foods and their paired body types.
3. Consume whole organic foods and let your body heal.
Paul Pitchford’s Healing with Whole Foods is considered the bible of TCM nutrition. The book, which you can use as a valuable resource, has properties of foods and their recipes.
The book also addresses seasonal and environmental connections according to the TCM philosophy, organ systems, disease syndromes, and recommendations for chronic imbalances.
Here’s an extract from the book on enteritis and colitis:
“These inflammations of the colon and small intestine can be generated by emotional repression and the related energy stagnation of the liver…Typical symptoms of intestinal inflammation include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhoea, and rectal bleeding in severe cases.
Because food is not being properly absorbed, there is often weight loss and weakness.
In intestinal inflammations of all types, chewing food well breaks it down better so that it is less irritating, stimulates proper pancreatic secretion, and provides well-salivated complex carbohydrates which like a healing salve on the intestinal coating.
Raw food is not tolerated because it easily irritates delicate surfaces of inflamed intestines.
Many of the symptoms of enteritis and colitis can be caused by dairy intolerances, which are sometimes merely intolerances to the poor quality of the dairy products used.”
At this point in the book, Pitchford recommends certain dairy products over others. For example:
– Full fat milk and not the skimmed variety.
– Goat’s milk and other alternate .
– Non-homogenised milk.
– Raw milk.
– Fermented milk products: buttermilk, kefir etc.
4. Learn to address the needs of your body.
The simplest idea behind this approach is to eat what your body urges you to eat.
If you crave a specific food don’t ignore this call as your body might remember some chemical it needs that can be found in that food you previously ate.
The cravings and the desires are different.
You might want to eat a burger but your body might crave bread and meat. So just because you feel that you like to eat something it doesn’t have to be the unhealthy version of that type of food.
TCM philosophies and practices are one of the highly respected holistic approaches to medicine.
These 4 are really easy guidelines to follow, however, it’s highly recommended that you visit a professional practitioner of acupuncture/Chinese medicine to verify your conclusions.