If you weren’t health-conscious before, you soon will be once you have a Chinese girlfriend. And once you have a Chinese wife, you can expect her to nag you to the peak of health with her nurturing nature, her home cooking, and even her belief in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)!
Before you scoff at the “superstitious” nature of TCM, remember that it has withstood the tests of time and, even more importantly, the emergence and countless achievements of modern medicine not only through the sheer number of people who practice it, but also because many of its underlying principles do work!
Indeed, modern medicine has only begun to explore the scientific merits of many TCM concepts. Even more amazing is the fact that a lot of what modern medicine has established as scientifically sound was already discovered and used by the Chinese through TCM thousands of years earlier! In a lot of ways, TCM has always been ahead of its time and modern medicine has been playing catch-up.
Take all the fuss that modern health experts have been making over the importance of detoxifying the body to rid it of free radicals, for example. TCM has always believed that certain foods help cleanse the body and restore its balance. Their interpretation of the idea may not sound scientific; but that does not mean that it doesn’t work!
Here are some foods that, according to TCM, are very effective in eliminating harmful toxins from the body and in making a healthier you. (Source: http://www.chinagaze.com/2013/07/19/20-detoxifying-foods/)
Sweet potatoes can improve bowel movement with its high digestible fiber content.
Sweet potato leaves can help make one feel full fast, stimulate digestion and bowel movement, and treat constipation. Chinese yams are best consumed raw to maximize their benefits, which include: stimulating digestion, reducing subcutaneous accumulation of fats, and aiding the immune system.
Green beans should not be overcooked so that its diuretic and detoxifying effects will not be diminished. These legumes also help reduce swelling.
Red beans help relieve constipation and induce diuresis.
Oats facilitate bowel movement and aid in detoxification. They are best eaten with fresh fruits.
Barley is supposed to help improve blood flow and alleviate edema. It’s also an effective diuretic and skin whitening agent (when applied topically).
Millet is gluten-free and effective in stimulating digestion.
Brown rice is high in fiber and very helpful in stabilizing the digestive system. Its ability to absorb water and fat in the body gives a person a feeling of fullness, therefore effectively preventing one from overeating.
Radishes are also good diuretics and helpful in promoting weight loss by regulating bowel function.
Radish leaves are vitamin- and fiber-rich and can effectively stimulate both the appetite and digestion.
Carrots also stimulate bowel movement and contain compounds (beta-carotene) that eliminate toxins.
Asparagus have asparagines and potassium, nutrients that make the vegetable a good diuretic. When being cooked, the tips should be above the water because this part contains high levels of vitamin A.
Onions aid in digestion and bowel movement. They are best eaten with protein-rich foods because their high sulfur content combines well with proteins to improve liver function. Improved liver function means that the organ will be more effective in breaking down toxins.
Lotus root is believed to help cleanse the blood and eliminate excess fluids.
Chrysanthemum has high levels of vitamin A, making it very good for the liver.
Burdock is also fiber-rich and helps improve metabolism, bowel function, and blood circulation and treat constipation. Sichuan aescin is helpful in treating constipation and reducing blood sugar levels.
Yogurt is high in lactic acid as well as good bacteria, making it very beneficial to the digestive system. It is best eaten during breakfast on an empty stomach.
Vinegar helps promote digestion, relax the bowels, and induce diuresis.
Remember that eating plays an important role in Chinese culture and, as such, the Chinese take healthy eating to heart. If there’s only one Chinese practice that you would adopt, it might as well be your Chinese girlfriend/wife’s healthy eating habits!
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