Because Chinese people consider their daily food consumption a first line of treatment, it is one of the things they take very seriously. It is not uncommon for these people to address a small ailment by including a certain ingredient in a dish or by serving with a specially prepared meal. There are two primary ways of treating obesity via Chinese nutritional therapy in Jacksonville based on the categorization of patterns indicated below:
- Drying the body by eliminating dampness and transforming phlegm
- Invigorate the kidneys and strengthen the spleen.
Food is considered by the Chinese people as a first line of treatment for obesity
A. Techniques of drying the body
- Cool the body to promote the passage of fluid
- Warm the body
- Absorb dampness within the body
- Cool the body to promote water passage
A person with a hot-dry constitution is not as susceptible to obesity as one with a hot-damp constitution. For instance, if you try to burn firewood that’s damp, it produces lots of smoke but won’t burn right away. Likewise, neither will go away when heat and water combine in the body. This results in discharge of small amounts of reddish urine or difficulty when urinating.
Therefore, the treatment plan is to allow the water to move and to cool the body. Herbs and food with a bitter taste and with yin or cold energy are used for treatment, since the bitter taste can dry the body and the cold energy can cool it.
For individuals with a hot damp constitution, eating mung beans and bitter gourd is highly recommended.
Mung Beans – For people with a hot-damp constitution, mung beans may be consumed to help eliminate excessive water from their bodies. These beans are quite efficient in limiting body heat and eliminating water despite them having a sweet taste and a cool energy.
Bitter gourd – This can cool the body considerably and because of its bitter and cold nature, can soften stools and relieve nervous tension respectively. A person with a hot-damp constitution tends to be constipated, which can be easily alleviated by eating bitter gourd served as tea, vegetable, or soup.
- Facilitate urination
Eating Wax gourd can help encourage urination. In Western medicine, facilitating urination can be compared with diuretics. This process can be achieved by eating garlic, wax gourd, soy beans, Job’s tears, corn silk and corn, and small red beans.
- Warming the body
For people with a damp-cold constitution, warming the body can be an appropriate approach to obesity. The plan is warming the body in order for water to move out of the body, either through sweating or through urination. Foods that help best achieve this should have a sweet-pungent taste or hot or warm qualities. A light or sweet taste promotes urination while a warm or hot quality increases body heat. These three conditions are all found in Cinnamon.
Fresh ginger – Ginger is often used to neutralize cold, especially in winter. Its effects are significantly amplified when it is combined with dry orange peel and served as tea.
When the body is dry and after the negative effects have been eliminated from the body, the individual should be in good shape and should remain slim. Still, it is important that the person maintains a healthy lifestyle (regular exercise and a balanced diet).
- Absorb dampness within the body
This process involves absorbing body fluids within the body and it can be compared to a sponge absorbing spilt water; urination eliminates excess water within the body via the process of excretion. Many of the herbs and foods that have the ability to soak up water inside the body are aromatic, and the two best foods that are most frequently used for this purpose are hyacinth beans and broad beans. Aside from their ability to absorb water within the body, aromatic foods are also capable of treating diarrhea.
Hyacinth beans – In Chinese herbal medicine, hyacinth beans are commonly used to relieve stomach pain and treat diarrhea related to an overabundance of water in the intestine. They can be consumed in powder or soup form.
Broad beans – They can help soak up water inside the body. They can be fried with salt and oil until they smell aromatic or grounded down into powder and taken with warm water. It’s much better to use unshelled broad beans because the shell has a greater ability to facilitate urination and to better absorb water within the body.
B. How to stop the body from retaining water
A person with excess weight has two harmful elements in his body: dampness and phlegm. First, the most important thing they need to do is to remove those two elements and the next important thing is to keep them away from the body. A helpful idea to bear in mind is the notion of fire. Fire takes out phlegm and dampness through burning. Therefore, fire is essential in eliminating these two problems, especially when it comes to the fire of the kidneys, which is known as kidney-yang.
Strengthening the Kidneys’ Burning Fire
Strengthening the kidneys’ burning fire can help in the preservation of proper body weight.
Yang tonics are foods that can help strengthen the kidneys’ burning fire. There are four main tonics in TCM: blood tonics, energy tonics, yin tonics (fortifies the fluids), and yang tonics.
Some examples of yang tonifying foods are the kidneys of animals. There are three benefits of eating animal kidneys (chicken, lamb, beef, or pork):
- They tonify the function of the kidney
- They can be easily digested
- They have little fat
How to prepare the kidneys for eating
Cut first the kidneys in half, take out and wash the undesirable white parts; boil water and add a small amount of wine into the boiling water; place the kidneys in the water and allow to simmer until the kidneys are completely cooked; remove the kidneys from the water and slice them into tiny pieces. Create a sauce that combines vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, green onion, sugar, soy sauce, and green pepper. Add sauce on the kidneys and serve.
Beef, pork, or chicken liver can also be eaten to strengthen the kidneys’ burning fire. Very quickly fry the liver in vegetable oil and add celery, garlic, or ginger to the recipe; for seasonings, you can use wine and black pepper.
Vegetables andfruits that are considered yang tonics include bitter gourd seed, dried green raspberry, black beans, cherry, leeks, walnut, and yam.
Vegetables and fruits that are good for kidney yang include black beans, red dates, garlic chives, and cherry.
C. Effective Food Recipes
The following are recipes that resolve phlegm and help smooth and ventilate the lungs, warm the kidneys, energize the spleen, and eliminate dampness via urination (diuresis), which can help treat water retention.
- Hawthorn and Lotus Leaf Soup
Health benefits: eliminates dampness and encourages digestion
- Dried lotus leaf
Preparation: Use hawthorn (9g) (which should be broken down and stir-fried), lotus leaf (9g), water (two cups), decoct into one cup of soup. Drink as often as possible to treat simple obesity.
- Fried Radish and Crown daisy Chrysanthemum
Health Benefits: Expel phlegm-heat from the body and eliminate fluid stagnation
Preparation: Use crown daisy chrysanthemum (100g) and white radish (200g), cut into strips and wash. Add oil (100g) into a pot. Add wild pepper into the pot when the oil is hot. Remove the wild pepper when it turns black, and then place the strips of radish into the pot. Mix a little chicken soup into the pot till it’s almost soft; then throw in the chrysanthemum. Add salt for flavor, and add starch when the dish is done and apply a small amount of sesame oil on the dish. Turn off the heat and the dish is ready to serve.
- Weight Reducing Wine
Health benefits: Removes dampness and tonifies the spleen
Preparation: Prepare Indian bread (50g), polished glutinous rice (one kg), Gordon Euryale seed (50g), Job’s tears (150g), Chinese yam powder (100g), and lotus seeds powder (50g). Wash the glutinous rice. Put all the ingredients into a large vessel, add water, and mix thoroughly. Steam for an hour, and allow to cool. Pour baking wine into the vessel till the ingredients are all soaked and then cover the vessel. Store the vessel in a room with 25° Centigrade temperature for one and a half to two days. Drink a small cup, two times each day.
- Fried Mutton with Onions and Wild pepper
Health benefit: Warm kidney-yang
Preparation: Add peanut oil (50g) into a pot, and heat on a stove. Throw in onions (100g), a little wild pepper, ginger shreds (10g) and mutton shreds (200g) into the pot and fry. For flavor, add yellow wine, salt, vinegar, and seasoning powder.