TCM nutrition is different from Western nutrition in the sense that it organizes food based on natures (cold, cool, neutral, warm, hot) and organs/meridians (liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, etc.) as well as flavours (acrid, bitter, salty for example).
During a patient’s initial assessment, food suggestions are often given. A patient can always book a TCM nutritional consultation for an in-depth review.
Below are two very different types of food selections in the context of TCM, just to give you a sense of this Eastern perspective.
Main Dish: Soothing Shrimp with Asparagus and Goji Berries
The delicious flavours in this main dish will comfort and nourish you. In Traditional Chinese Medicine language this dish helps to strengthen the Liver and Kidneys, clears Heat from Yin Deficiency, and strengthens muscles and tendons. It’s beneficial for anyone experiencing fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, blurred vision, menopause, or depression. For example goji berries (gou qi zi) helps brighten the eyes in TCM.
* Quinoa or rice
* 2 tablespoons goji berries (gou qi zi)
* 3 tablespoon rice wine (or white grape juice)
* 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or more)
* 1 (1/2) inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled and minced)
* 2 cloves garlic (peeled and minced)
* ¾ to 1 pound medium-sized shrimp (you can also use scallops)
* 1 pound asparagus
* Fresh cilantro
* Soy sauce to taste
* Cover goji berries with rice wine and marinate for at least 30 minutes.
* In a pot make the quinoa (or rice).
* In a separate pan heat some sesame oil.
* Add the ginger and garlic to release their aromatic fragrant, add shrimp, season with pepper and sea-salt if you prefer; add cilantro here if you prefer; stir-fry for a few minutes or until cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a bowl, set aside.
* While the pan is still hot (or in another pan) add a small amount of water and the asparagus. Cook for a few minutes until al dente.
* On a plate, scoop quinoa then layer on top the shrimp and asparagus. Add soy sauce to taste. Squeeze fresh lime to taste. Sprinkle goji berries and cilantro.
(This recipe is from the book “Ancient Wisdom, Modern Kitchen.” I modified it a bit.)
Vegetarian Beauty Food: Peach Gum
For clients doing Cosmetic/Facial Acupuncture sessions at Marconi Acupuncture Clinic, Peach Gum is a beneficial beauty food you can eat at home and in-between sessions. Peach gum is the resin from peach and Chinese wild peach trees, already solidified when it is found. Peach gum is a natural and healthy food rich in amino acid, which allows collagen to be quickly absorbed into the human body. Because it’s rich in plant collagen it can help to promote skin health and beauty. From soups to cooked dishes to desserts, peach gum is a delight to both our palate and skin. You can buy it at Asian markets. To make: Soak for about 8 hours because they are hard, then rinse and cleanse with water. Soaking will soften and expand them (they will become like Gummy Bears). Eat a handful or toss into your favorite smoothie mix or even soup.