Category Archives: Top Nine Foods

The top nine foods

“Medicine and food arise from the same source” and “A good diet leads to good health” — these are the cornerstones of traditional Chinese wisdom when it comes to health cultivation.

During the ancient Zhou Dynasty, which lasted for almost a millennium (from the 10th to the 2nd century B.C.), there existed “food doctors” who used food to help people stay healthy or cure illnesses.

To shed some light on the age-old pursuit of well-being, CommonHealth Magazine sought wisdom from five veteran doctors of TCM – Chiang Ton, 101, Ma Kuang-ya, 92, Yi Chuan-heng, 88, Tong Yen-ling, 76, Wu Shui-sheng, 76, — each of whom brings rich clinical experience from nearly half a century of practice in Taiwan.

Chinese medicine generally defines the nature of a food as hot, warm, neutral, cool or cold, similar to body constitutions. Food that is hot by nature may be used to stimulate the body, while food that is cold by nature may sedate the organs. Many of the therapeutic uses of the foods below are evaluated based on this concept.

CommonHealth Magazine asked these five legendary practitioners what they normally eat to maintain their health.

The answers were surprising.

The top nine foods chosen by the Chinese medicine masters are as follows.

1. Lotus Root

Lotus root is the food most often cited by the panel of doctors, and it has long been highly praised as a healthful food by medical practitioners throughout the ages.

Lotus root is considered to have many curative powers. According to modern-day science, the plant is rich in iron that fortifies the blood and has plenty of vitamin C, anti-oxidants, polysaccharides, and polyphenols that are believed to be effective in fighting cancer.

For people who are emotionally unstable, anxious, nervous, or unable to sleep, raw lotus root juice has been known to help, because it eases the nerves.

**Warning:

Lotus root is rich in fiber and prompts peristalsis (digestive tract contractions), so people suffering from ulcers, flatulence or irritable bowel syndrome are advised against eating it often.

2. Oats

Oats, which have become a trendy health food recently, can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Wu Shui-sheng, who comes from a family with a history of high blood pressure, has oats for lunch everyday.

Chen Li-fu, who was known as the “godfather of Chinese medicine practitioners,” also had a meal of oats mixed with black fungus, mushrooms and celery everyday to keep his blood pressure and blood glucose levels stable until he passed away at the ripe age of 103.

Because oats are high in fiber, they can ease people’s hunger and help them with bowel movements. They not only slow the pace of increases in blood sugar and reduce the build-up of blood fat, they have fewer calories than rice or noodles and are suitable as a weight-reducing food.

**Warning:

Oats are high in fiber and should not be consumed by people who suffer from flatulence or who are allergic to gluten.

 

“Medicine and food arise from the same source” and “A good diet leads to good health”: these are the cornerstones of traditional Chinese wisdom when it comes to health cultivation. During the ancient Zhou Dynasty, which lasted for almost a millennium (from the 10th to the 2nd century B.C.), there existed “food doctors” who used food to help people stay healthy or cure illnesses.

To shed some light on the age-old pursuit of well-being, CommonHealth Magazine sought wisdom from five veteran doctors of TCM – Chiang Ton (age 101), Ma Kuang-ya (92), Yi Chuan-heng (88), Yen-ling Tong (76), Wu Shui Sheng (76) – each of whom brings rich clinical experience from nearly half a century of practice in Taiwan.

CommonHealth Magazine asked these five legendary practitioners what they normally ate to maintain their health.

The answers were surprising.

Oats, white rice, white radish, lotus root, and water spinach are among the most basic staples of Taiwanese cuisine, yet they all have significant health benefits. The five masters not only eat them frequently, they also use them to treat their patients and relieve them of their symptoms.

To 101-year-old Dr. Chiang Ton, lotus root is the most healthful food one can eat. During the summer, Chiang drinks a glass of fresh lotus root juice every day, because it effectively cools the body and helps dissipate heat. It is also helpful to people who suffer from frequent nose bleeds.

Chinese medicine generally defines the nature of a food as hot, warm, neutral, cool or cold, similar to body constitutions. Food that is hot by nature may be used to stimulate the body, while food that is cold by nature may sedate the organs. Many of the therapeutic uses of the foods below are evaluated based on this concept.

The top nine foods chosen by the Chinese medicine masters are as follows.

1. Lotus Root

Lotus root was the food most often cited by the panel of doctors, and it has long been highly praised as a healthful food by medical practitioners throughout the ages.

Ninety-year-old professor Ma Guang-ya likes nothing more than a bowl of lotus root sparerib soup in the fall and winter to soothe his lungs and quiet his spirit.

Lotus root is considered to have many curative powers. According to modern-day science, the plant is rich in iron that fortifies the blood and has plenty of vitamin C, anti-oxidants, polysaccharides, and polyphenols that are believed to be effective in fighting cancer.

Chinese medicine practitioners believe that raw and cooked lotus root have different benefits. Raw lotus root, considered “sweet in flavor” and “cold in nature,” helps cool down the body, while cooked lotus root, considered to be a “warm” food, helps with the stomach and spleen.

Raw lotus root can clear away “heat,” stop bleeding and dissipate blood stasis, and is suitable for people whose mouths are often dry or have high “internal heat.” It also is considered effective in clearing the lungs and in early times was employed to treat tuberculosis. It can also prevent bleeding among those who frequently suffer from nose bleeds.

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