Chinese medicine masters recommend foods to eat for better health
By Chen-tsen Lin
March 11, 2010, 10:19 am TWN
3. Black Sesame Seeds
Tong Yen-ling, a Chinese medicine doctor who loves to exercise, has a bowl of black sesame seed oatmeal every morning.
Modern science has proved that unsaturated fatty acids and linoleic acid, both excellent at protecting the heart, account for 90 percent of the composition of black sesame seeds.
But experts recommend that the seeds should be bit through or grounded, or else the sesame will not be digested and absorbed by the body.
Although black sesame seeds have health benefits, their fat content cannot be ignored. Two tablespoons of black sesame seeds equal one portion of fat in the daily nutrient allowance recommendations set by the Cabinet-level Department of Health.
In traditional Chinese medicine, black sesame seeds are believed to trigger the symptoms of some diseases. People with sensitive constitutions who have the tendency to develop rashes or have recurring old ailments should avoid them.
4. White Fungus, Lotus Seeds
To Chinese medicine doctors, the fungus is helpful in nourishing the lungs and engendering liquids, and has been used to treat coughs, which is why it has been dubbed the “poor man's bird's nest.”
Lotus seeds are a form of starch, so people with diabetes must eat them in moderation. Also, people with dry stool or flatulence should also avoid eating too much of it.
5. Water Spinach
Chinese medicine practitioners rely on water spinach to clear “heat,” flush the system of toxins, smooth the digestive system and improve bowel movements. It's like a natural protective shield that protects the body from intruding bacteria and viruses in the summertime.
Water spinach is by definition a “cool” food and not suitable for frequent consumption by people with weak constitutions.
Because it has high fiber content, the green vegetable should not be eaten by people who have just had surgery.
6. White Radish
Americans often say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” The Chinese rely on the white radish, also known as mooli or daikon, to stay healthy during the winter months, leading to the saying, “Eat white radish in the winter and ginger in the summer, and you won't need to trouble the doctor for a prescription.”
Chinese medicine doctors believe the white radish eaten raw can quench thirst and clear “heat” while helping the digestive system and prompting bowel movements. It has been given the nickname “Little Ginseng.”
Because white radish is a relatively “cool” food, it should be avoided by people with gastric ulcers, women with irregular periods, and pregnant women experiencing potential miscarriage.