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Diet As Medicine

How Can Food Heal?
Food is the amazing substance that we transform via our digestive system into ourselves. Although food will not have instant effects, it will over time shape our body, affect our emotions and influence our mental state.

What Is The Best Diet?
There is no good or bad foods, unless you have an allergy, let alone good and bad diets. As we are all individuals, there will be certain foods that will promote individual health, and others when taken excessively will exacerbate our individual tenancies to particular symptoms of disease. The best diet, is one based on yourself personally.
Once you know your general tendencies, you can see what kinds of foods will benefit health and which foods you might want to reduce or even cut out, if you want a more dramatic change.

What Else Can I do To Help Myself?
The digestive system can be helped not just from the food we eat, but also how we eat. Generally speaking, eating slowly, chewing your food for longer, relaxing and making sure you sit when you eat will all improve your ability to extract the maximum nutritional benefit from your food.
The body generally likes regularity, having three meals a day and not eating too late. To improve digestion further a small amount of hot green tea or jasmine tea with the meal is also good. In China they say after you eat you should walk a hundred paces. A little gentle exercise after eating will promote peristalsis and help with constipation.

Eating excessively to the point of feeling full and lethargic every meal will be detrimental to the digestive system, even if it is "Good Food". The stretch receptors of the stomach take a little time to tell you that you are full, so it is easy to over eat, putting strain on the digestive process. Try to slow down a little and stop eating whilst you are still a little hungry.
When eating, it is also good to not drink cold liquids or excessive water as this will cool the chemical reaction in the stomach and dilute the digestive enzymes, making digestion of food less efficient.
This is also true for excessive amounts of cold or raw food. We might think that lots of raw food has lots of nutritional benefits, however the body has to be able to absorb that food, so if your digestion is weak, you will be better off having cooked food where there may be less minerals and vitamins, but you will be able to absorb all of them.

Above all The most important thing is to enjoy the food you eat. Give yourself time to engage with eating your food. It is easy to become a food fascist and punish yourself for that thing you know you should not have eaten. That is just going to make you worry or angry and hinder further you digestive system. In the long term it will make food an issue that brings guilt or denial. Everything in moderation including moderation.

Eating As Part Of A Spiritual Practice
There are many traditions where giving thanks or praying to the Buddha are used to focus our senses and bring us to the present moment. Using a ritual of thanks and then treating the food as the focus of a meditation can be a powerful form of personal development, not to mention a great way to relax whilst eating.

Where Can I Find Out More About Food?

Click Here to see how different foods can affect you. To find out more about chinese diet therapy try reading the following books

Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods ISBN-13: 978 1556434303
Daverick leggett, Helping Ourselves ISBN 0 9524640 0 4
Daverick leggett, Recipes For Self-Healing ISBN 0 9524640 2 0
Henry Lu
, Chinese System Of Food Cures ISBN-10: 0806963085


This site may contain information on medical and health-related topics. This information is not meant to be a substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use this information for diagnosing a health problem or disease but should always consult your own physician.