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Food for Thought

Eluv September 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
woman eating salad

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Why people choose to eat certain foods is based on a complex culmination of many factors, such astaste preferences, cultural background, learned eating, emotions, peer pressure, family members’ preferences, habits, environmental factors, time, location and availability. However, the bottom line is, whatever you eat has a direct effect on your health. Meaning, in essence, you really are what you eat.

Although the human body has an amazing capacity to heal, the added stress of eating foods that are not the best for your health can, over a period of time, contribute to lowering the immune system, accumulating toxins and creating disease in the body. Eating the wrong foods can weaken and imbalance the body, but eating the right foods helps it to strengthen and balance.

Health can vary at different times according to factors such as genetics, age, stress levels, constitutional weaknesses and strengths, diet, and emotional and spiritual well-being. Food can be utilized to harmonize and balance an individual’s condition during these changes, and it can also be used for preventive self-care, to help bring the body back into balance during or following illness.

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Food by Qi

Warm: alcohol; beef; hot peppers; raspberries, walnuts

Neutral: carrots, duck, egg whites, milk, peas

Cool: crab, cucumbers, melon, pears, tomatoes

Fantastic Foods

Almonds—Help reduce glycemic index, nutritive for the lungs, lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol.

Avocados—Flesh is rich in vitamin E, loaded with phytochemicals, minerals and essential fatty acids. They also contain antibacterial and antifungal properties, while the pit has high amounts of soluble fiber.

Beets—Detoxify blood, help anemia, stimulate liver function.

Bitter melon—Regulates high blood sugar.

Blueberries—Powerful antioxidant, help lower cholesterol, promote urinary tract health and improve memory.

Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, turnips, kohlrabi and bok choy (all part of the Cruciferous family)—Contain high levels of phytochemicals and have anti-cancer properties.

Carrots—High in beta-carotene, a neutral food that benefits the stomach, while the fiber stimulates bowels.

Chia seeds—High in soluble fiber, a high-energy endurance food, slow conversion of carbohydrates to sugar. Aid digestion, easily absorbed source of protein.

Chlorophyll—Similar in molecular structure to hemoglobin. Offers nutrition for red blood cells, is a blood builder and blood purifier, deodorizes and alkalizes the body, detoxifies the intestines and organs, and is an antioxidant. Can break down kidney stones for elimination, increase circulation and chelation of heavy metals, reduce the binding of carcinogens to DNA in the liver and blood, and can also be used in skin care for its oxygenating, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, wound- and tissue-healing properties.

Coconut oil—High in lauric acid, which is a medium chain fatty acid with antibacterial properties; helps balance metabolism; repair the liver; is used externally as a antihistamine and for its moisturizing properties.

Dandelion greens—Contain high levels of choline, stimulate bile, improve liver and gallbladder function, have high levels of vitamin A, aid digestion, are a diuretic.

Fennel—Aromatic and calming, high in phytochemicals, can be used externally to treat skin problems.

Ginger—Warming, excellent for digestion, nausea and motion sickness; stimulates circulation, natural decongestant, moves qi, anti-inflammatory, relaxes the intestines.

Green apples—Probiotic and improve digestion. Sour, so suitable to eat when watching sugar intake. A source of pectin; reduce blood cholesterol levels and increase viscosity in the intestinal tract, which can lead to reduced absorption of cholesterol.

Kiwi—Seeds are high in alpha linoleic acid and a sour fruit, suitable when watching sugar intake.

Kombucha—Fermented probiotic beverage that contains active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, glucaric acid and B vitamins. Aids and promotes digestion, healthy function of the liver and detoxification. Energizing, antibacterial and antifungal, balances stomach and spleen. Can also be used externally for skin care, great for acne, detoxifying foot baths or whole body detox soaks.

Papaya—High in proteolytic enzymes, potassium, vitamins A and C, dissolves excess mucus, improves food digestion.

Probiotics—Improve immune function by regulating lymphocytes and antibodies, promote growth of healthy bacteria in the colon, support colon health, improve nutrient bioavailability, support general wellness.

Walnuts—High in antioxidants, omega-3 EFAs beneficial for the heart and inflammatory skin conditions, including psoriasis and eczema.

Tips for Better Health Through Food

Seek the advice of a trained TCM practitioner who is an expert in food therapy or a nutritionist; do not self-diagnose.

  • Eat locally and in season.
  • Eat with time and without stress.
  • Eat with awareness and gratitude.
  • Use organic, sustainable, and green products in the spa and at home.

Log on to to discover more resources for Eastern nutrition and pick up some tasty snack recipes.

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