By and large Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) advocates some preparation of our food. Cooking a food outside the body makes the body’s task of digestion and assimilation considerably easier and energy-efficient. Food doesn’t simply hit the stomach and later intestines and become magically converted into energy, though I feel many believe this to be so. There are vigorous processes of assimilation that are
performed. We can either help or hinder these with our eating practices.
I was a juice enthusiast back in the seventies, venturing into nine-day juice fasts and other experimental practices. Once I began studying TCM and its approach to food energetics and digestion, I gained a valuable perspective, which eventually led to my discarding the juicer. In the process of having to let go of something I was strongly attached to of course, I went kicking and screaming! Isn’t that just the way?
In a nutshell TCM sees fruit and vegetable juices as concentrates. This is fair enough when you consider how much fruit and vegies can be processed into just one glass. Bob Flaws a TCM practitioner and commentator calls it a form of ‘over-nutrition’. When this concentrate is ingested, it results in what the Chinese term ‘dampness’ and ‘phlegm’. Basically dampness is congestive, heavy and obstructive to healthy digestive functioning. This ‘yin-excess’ situation an effect that has broader implications that can’t be elaborated here; stay tuned for that in subsequent articles.
So, if you must juice, here are my Juicing Guidelines offered to promote the best possible outcome for your body:
- Have a warm beverage beforehand. In this way a warming Yang energy precedes the cooler Yin. The stomach is stimulated and prepared.
- Let your fruit/vegies warm up to room temperature; don’t drink them cold.
- Use organic/chemical free produce when possible.
- Don’t mix fruit and vegetables in a juice. Would you ever eat these in this way? Keep the combinations simple.
- Eat your juices. Saliva contains an enzyme called amylase, which is step one in the process of digestion; don’t bypass it. This is one reason why we have always been exhorted to chew our food well.
You may want to find out more about diet and digestive health along TCM lines from Michael. To book an appointment please contact Michael Finn on 0411 537 394 or send him a message via the Contact link on the Homepage.
Flaws, B. Arisal of The Clear.
Flaws, B. The Tao of Healthy Eating.