Nourishing + Supplementing the Digestion

People with a digestive system that is weak and unable to nourish and support their wellbeing have what we call a Qi deficiency. They tend to seek out sweet foods to give them energy. In Traditional Chinese dietary therapy there are two categories for sweet foods

(1) The first is empty sweet which in small amounts is considered cooling and eliminating. It contains simple sugars such as fruits, juices, honey and raw sugar.

(2) The second category is full sweet, is considered warming and nourishing. It includes complex carbohydrates, protein and food such as rice, potatoes, meat and red dates.

Great Foods to tonify Spleen Qi Deficiency

GrainsOats, Amaranth. Rice, sweet rice, Millet, yi yi ren, barley
Vegetablesseasonal always, beetroot, Carrots, Squash, sweet potato, yam, red cabbage, fennel, Spinach

Leeks, pumpkin

Fruitspears, sweet apples, apricots, cherries, dates, figs, plums, raisins, grapes, longan, red grapes
BeansLegumes, Tofu
MeatBeef, beef stock, chicken, veal, ham, lamb
Seedssesame seeds, peanuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios
Oils/ Condimentsmolasses, maple syrup, rice malt syrup, raw honey, rapadura
Herbs / Spicesginger, garlic, cardamom, liquorice, aniseed, star anise, cayenne, pepper, fennel, nutmeg, vanilla, cinnamon, coriander, oregano, rosemary, thyme
Supplementsalgae, pollen, American ginseng, Chinese ginseng, royal jelly

Examples of everyday western foods that can be used to build Qi, include:

  • Oat porridge with dates and honey
  • Millet porridge with cinnamon and raisins
  • Roasted sweet potatoes with pumpkin and yams
  • Chicken stir fry with shiitake mushrooms and rice
  • Shepherd’s pie with beef/lamb mince, mushrooms, carrots,  mashed potato as a topping
  • Tuna pie made with hard-boiled eggs and served with mashed potatoes peas and corn
  • Stir fried tofu, eggplant and mushrooms with black sesame seeds on rice
  • Homemade oat/muesli with honey and dates

Foods to Avoid

  • Damp, greasy, fatty, fried foods, oily foods
  • Cold, raw, uncooked foods – cold raw salads (especially in winter), cucumbers
  • Icy cold beverages
  • Carbonated drinks (including sparkling mineral water)
  • Dairy products
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Bananas, pineapples, watermelon, summer tropical fruits (especially out of season)
  • Junk foods
  • Frozen foods
  • Excessive meat & alcohol
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