Category Archives: Food As Medicine

5 FOODS TO HELP YOU STAY COOL THIS SUMMER

06.16.14

5 Foods to Help You Stay *COOL* this Summer

summer beach ballsWhen it comes to cooling down, air conditioning or a fan is the first thing people often turn to, but not everyone has that luxury.  Believe it or not, there’s a way to cool yourself down by eating certain foods.  In an article by Devon Brown on TimeOut.com, she speaks to Soho Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist Mia Hatgis (check her out on acumamamia.com), who discusses 5 different foods you can eat to help cool off.

watermelon1.  WATERMELON – When dealing with thirst, low energy, headaches and dizziness, watermelon can help.  Chinese herbalists use watermelon to prevent or recover from heatstroke.  The fruit increases the amount of fluid in the body.  Hatgis states, “Composed of 93 to 96 percent water, watermelon allows the body to generate fluids, maintains electrolyte balance and induces urination, which is a very efficient way of clearing heat from the body.”

mung bean2.  MUNG BEAN – Mung bean is very popular in China — it’s mixed with noodles, rice, cakes and desserts.  Better yet, it’s known to reduce fever and thirst.  Mung beans help the body rid itself of toxins and reduce inflammation, which is especially helpful after a long night of partying or a day filled with consuming fast foods.

 

 

bitter melon3.  BITTER MELON – Bitter melons are valued in Asia for their ability to restore the hot and cold temperatures of the human body.  According to Chinese Medicine, bitter melon is a hot food with cooling benefits.  According to Hatgis, “Frozen or refrigerated foods and beverages tend to weaken digestion, and lead to that sluggish feeling associated with summer days,”  Instead rely on hot foods such as Bitter Melon Stir-fry with Beef, to cool the body.

papaya4.  PAPAYA – Papaya is great for people who find cold foods hard to digest.  “Papaya prevents the lethargy and loos of appetite associated with hot summer temperatures.  It’s full of digestive enzymes that clear inflammation in the body, and  helps drain toxins and generate fluids,” says Hatgis.  Papaya offers the most when it’s consumed raw.

 

cucumber5.  CUCUMBER – Cucumbers are rich in vitamins, alkaloids and chlorophyll.  Additionally, they’re made up of 90% water and replenish electrolytes.  Like the mung bean, cucumbers are antioxidants and anti-inflammatory.  They’re known to help reduce your risk of certain cancers.  Cucumbers not only cool you down, they’re providing your body with substances to live a long and healthy life!

How will you cool down in this summer?

Always,

Layne

Resource:  http://www.timeout.com/newyork/food-drink/get-cool-five-foods-that-will-help-you-cool-down

 

 

8 Tips on Foods that Maximize Spring’s Benefits

04.26.14

Spring is the season of renewal and motion ~ Find out what foods benefit us most!

spring cherry blossomsAccording to Traditional Chinese Medicine, spring is also the season of the liver and the gallbladder. These organs are responsible for normalizing a smooth energy flow through the body and mind.

Here are 8 tips to help you maximize the benefits of spring!

1. lemon waterBefore that first cup of morning tea or coffee, drink warm water with a slice of lemon to detoxify the liver and gallbladder.

 

 

 

mint tea2.  Mint tea throughout the day is a great remedy for soothing liver qi (energy).

 

 

cabbage 3.  In general, spring diets should include foods that are warm and ascending in nature. In the early spring, try cabbage, carrot and beet root. As the weather transforms, move to mint, shitake mushrooms, peas, sunflower seeds, and pine nuts.  In late spring, add cherries.

 

4.  kalePeople who want to lose weight can benefit from consuming foods like kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, parsley, wheat or barley grass juice, and spirulina, These green foods contain rising energy to revitalize the liver.

 

garlic-025.  Help ease the transition of spring’s erratic weather changes (like wind) by increasing your intake of moderately pungent foods like green onions, garlic, ginger, watercress, and mustard greens.  These foods also have strong immune-boosting merits that protect those susceptible to colds, flus, allergies and acute illness.

licorice root6.  Note:  We should be careful not to over stimulate the Liver.  This is especially important if we have a strong and vigorous body type or tendency towards fierceness. Try celery, watercress, lettuce, seaweed and licorice root to cool and calm the Liver yang.  (If these are new foods to your diet introduce them in moderation as they can cause diarrhea.)

 

oats7.  Oats can reduce the effects of wind in spring Also try pine nuts, prawns, ginger, fennel and basil. Later in the season (or if you are more yang) choose celery, mulberry, strawberry and peppermint. Avoid foods such as crabmeat, eggs and buckwheat which exacerbate wind symptoms.

 

asparagus

8. If you’re prone to allergies like itchy, red eyes, post nasal drip, or sneezing, consume foods with a slightly bitter quality.  Rye, romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, quinoa, radish leaves, citrus peel, dandelion, and chamomile have liver cleansing capabilities.  These foods will also benefit red, swollen joints.

Maximizing the benefits of spring promotes wellness for both mind and body!

Until next time,

Layne

 

Food As Medicine

Food As Medicine : A Summer Tea

Chrysanthemum Tea - iStock_000013036052LargeFood is a daily part of life, so much so that most of us do not really give it a great deal of thought.  Yet, food presents an amazing capacity to aid in the healing and nourishing of the human body. Using plants for health and the prevention of illness is deeply rooted in the Chinese culture.  Food choices can aid in their positive influences acting like medicine.

Seasonal food, in particular, provides the most nutrient and health benefits.  Enjoy this refreshing and easy summer tea recipe below.

Chrysanthemum (ju hua) Tea *

Chrysanthemum (ju hua) is known for its ability to cool excess heat in the body.  Iced Chrysanthemum Tea is an ideal drink for hot summer days.  In addition to clearing heat and promoting Qi, it is a great thirst quencher.

Ingredients:

60-80 Chrysanthemum flowers

3 t of Green Tea leaves

4 cups of water

Honey to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse chrysanthemum leaves
  2. Put chrysanthemum leaves and Green Tea into filtered coffee pot maker
  3. Pour water into coffee pot maker
  4. Once coffee pot maker brews tea, add honey if desired
  5. Cool tea
  6. Serve over ice

Enjoy!

* This recipe is not intended as a substitute for consulting with a physician.