Raw foods, from a Chinese Medicine perspective, can weaken the Spleen, which plays a vital role in digestion and weight management. Eating raw salads and fruit in the cooler weather may therefore not be beneficial for digestion, the assimilation of food, or trying to loose weight, especially if you already have weak digestion.
Numerous diet plans and raw food movements advocate eating raw foods at any time of the year. The main premise of the raw food movement is that cooking destroys certain nutrients and enzymes which can protect against acute and chronic disease. This premise only views fruit and vegetables from a biochemical perspective. As human beings are much more than just biology, fruit and vegetables are much more than just their biochemical properties.
In Chinese Medicine, foods as classified according to energetic qualities and how it influences the body-mind:
- Thermal nature: hot, warm, neutral, cooling or cold
- Five flavours: pungent, salty, sour, bitter and sweet
- Direction: upwards, downwards, floating, falling (the direction that the qi is moved by food)
- Organ network: lung, heart, liver, kidney, spleen, stomach, large intestine, bladder, gallbladder and small intestine. (organs that food influenced).
- The seasonal phase: Fire, Metal, Earth, Wood, Water
- The five colours: Red, white, yellow, green and black/blue
By eating in accordance with each season, eating a variety of flavours and colours which nourish the yin and yang organs, we can promote self-healing, good health and vitality.
To lose or maintain our weight, its important to keep our spleen healthy. An imbalanced spleen can impact the amount of fat we carry and our ability to loose weight. If you are trying to lose weight at the moment, try eating to support and nourish the spleen.
If you do eat raw foods, try warming them up by adding some ginger and spices like cardamon, cinnamon, nutmeg and aniseed.
If you are interested in improving your digestion, concentration, mental clarity and managing your weight effectively, take care of your spleen by:
- avoid foods that weaken the spleen
- eat warming foods to support the body to build yang, maintain healthy digestion and good health.
See my How to eat for your spleen PDF for more information.
Acupuncture treatments can also assist to bring your spleen back into balance. If you would like individual advice on diet and lifestyle and supportive acupuncture treatments, call me on 0416 111 622, or book online for an appointment.