This work will discuss seven time-tested habits of healthy eating based on the principles of Chinese nutritional therapy. These are habits that people can integrate into their daily life starting NOW. Although some of these customs and habits may run counter to what you’ve been told or learnt, you need to consider that ancient Chinese nutritional therapy has evolved and been honed through a trial-and-error process on countless numbers of people for at least 2,600 years. In other words, what has worked is still in use today – what hasn’t was abandoned hundreds of years ago. You don’t need to love Chinese food or even be Chinese in order to apply a few or all of these habits prior to your next meal and derive the benefits they entail.
Seven Habits of Healthy Eating
1. Mostly consume cooked foods
Based on the guidelines enshrined in Chinese nutritional therapy, your meals should mainly be cooked and eaten warm. When eaten in excess, raw fruits and vegetables weaken and cool your digestive system resulting in problems such as lack of energy, watery stools, and bloating. In Chinese nutritional therapy, cooking is considered a form of pre-digestion process which makes for easier digestion. On the other hand, raw cold foods require more energy in order to break them down. Proper cooking techniques are stir-frying and steaming as they cook lightly and immediately while retaining most of the food’s nutrients.
2. Eat regularly and at fixed times
Your body loves regularity and this also applies to work, sleep and meal times. For maximum vitality and health, you need to develop and adhere to regular sleep times, meal times, and bowel movements.
3. Eat and chew food slowly and properly
Your mouth is the first area where digestion occurs. Slow eating and thorough chewing of your food prior to swallowing guarantees easy and total digestion. Also, when you’re emotionally upset or angry, you should not eat as it can severely impact your digestion. Avoid eating a meal or pause for a while, until the emotion subsides.
4. Don’t drink cold drinks
It’s really a bad idea to drink cold drinks at any time as doing so can harm your digestion. The process of digestion requires breaking down foods and drinks you consume with heat. By nature, Cold contracts and slows down. Hence, drinking cold drinks, and eating ice cream impede and slows down digestion, resulting in stomach discomfort and pain as well as digestive upsets. Rather than drinking or eating cold products, drink warm green tea or water instead. What’s more, green tea prepares your digestive system for food and drinking hot or warm water can help flush out toxins from your body. Around ten to twenty minutes before you eat, we recommend drinking a cup of green tea.
5. Avoid overeating
You can do your bowels and digestive organs a big favor by stopping eating when you’re about three quarters full. Overeating adversely affects your abdomen and intestines causing problems such as weight gain, gas, putrefaction, constipation, sluggishness, bloating, and indigestion.
6. Take a slow leisurely walk after meals
In China, after leaving a restaurant, the staff will thank you by saying “man shou”, which means “walk slowly”. After meals, a leisurely slow-paced stroll for ten minutes or so can promote digestion and the absorption of nutrients. Rubbing your tummy with one palm in slow circles over your umbilicus in the direction towards your large intestine can also aid digestion. For digestive disorders, this can also be an ideal remedy and form of prevention. We recommend doing the rubbing while taking a leisurely slow walk or while standing still.
7. Perform the Ab Lifting exercise
Exercise before breakfast if you desire to shed a few pounds. Your body will start to utilize the fat reserves in your body if you haven’t eaten after about ten to twelve hours. Before breakfast or meals, one highly recommended exercise is the Abdominal Lift. This easy exercise just takes a couple of minutes to perform. It basically is about using your stomach muscles to lift your stomach towards and up your spine, holding that position for a few seconds, then releasing gently. To aid in digestion, absorption and evacuation, you can also do the Ab Lift an hour after meals.
Jacksonville Acupuncture Clinic
8855 San Jose Blvd
Jacksonville, FL 32217-4244