Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Digesting The Core of Wellness (4)

Spices have been used
for thousands of years
to improve digestive wellness
As digestive problems
are getting prominent in our society nowadays,
we see more and more people
taking digestive drugs, antacids, laxatives and kinds.

Medicinal approaches to digestive issues
generally do not cure the conditions.
They just suppress the symptoms.

Also, these digestive problems like
peptic ulcers, gastritis, flatulence, constipation etc
may haunt the victim for his/her entire lifespan
despite long term medication.

Coupling with the recommendations for lifestyle change
mentioned in the previous posts,
specific dietetic and nutritional management
would be able to resolve digestive issues
and bring about a rejuvenated body
without side effects:

(B) Digestion-oriented diet, nutritionals and herbs

1. pre-digest food prior to eating
so that our digestive system carry less burden and perform more efficiently with partially digested/disintegrated foods.

Pre-digesting food means:

i. blending our food, e.g. almond milk, creme of pumpkin, fruity smoothie (non-cold), sesame powder etc  [mechanical disintegration by a blender]

ii. fermenting our food, e.g. vegan yoghurt, miso, tempeh, sauerkraut, idli etc  [bacterial/fungal digestion]

iii. sprouting our food, e.g. mung bean sprouts, germinated brown rice, buckwheat sprouts etc  [biological enzymatic digestion]

iv. cooking our food for long hours* e.g. stewed mushroom, stewed lotus roots, double-boiled soup etc  [heat-mediated degradation]

* some nutrients may be lost, but other nutrients become easily absorbed as they have been broken down into fine molecules after prolonged moderate heating

2. maneuvering with specific flavours and spices to stimulate digestive fire

i. The 3 flavours that stimulate digestive fire
namely, Sour, Salty and Pungent
increases one's appetite and
hence renders a higher chance of complete food digestion.

ii. Many common spices
e.g. cinnamon, coriander, curry leaves, long pepper, black pepper, cumin, basil, ginger etc
can improve digestion when incorporated into daily dishes or taken in powder form prior to meal.

In Ayurvedic system, healers often make a blend of spices and digestive herbs incorporating the black Himalayan salt, to be served just before a meal for digestion improvement.

In TCM perspective, one may also consume 1 glass of ginger-molasses drink (hot from thermal tumbler -- never drink cold), 9-11am or 3-5pm daily to rectify digestive issues and overall life force condition.

3. consuming sufficient calcium to boost life force

Due to generally stressful lifestyle in modern days,
people has high tendency of leaching calcium on daily basis.

When calcium leaches, the communication between the digestive system and the brain,
become significantly compromised,
in turn affecting proper digestive activities,
including proper gastric juice secretion and peristalsis.

Taking foods high in calcium (e.g. pre-soaked whole grains/nuts)
or supplementing with good quality calcium pills
can prevent digestive issue caused by stress.

4. consuming probiotics and soluble fibre 
so as to regenerate good flora of the gut, in turn
- reducing bad germs in the gut
- repair internal gut lining
- nourish digestive system

The probiotics or fermented foods consumed must contain clinically-trialed strains,
otherwise the benefits above are not achievable.

Also soluble fibre (ie prebiotics, food of Probiotics) has to be consumed concurrently with probiotics, to ensure better survival and blooming of good bacteria in the gut.

5. administering common herbs to protect and rejuvenate the digestive system

In Ayurvedic system,
there is this popular herbal mix of 3 types of dried fruit powder,
called Triphala,
which is very beneficial for proper digestive functions.
1 teaspoon of Triphala with 20ml hot water daily
is sufficient to maintain belly happiness.

In TCM perspective,
licorice would be a very good herb to rejuvenate the spleen and stomach.
Simmer 3 slices of ginger with 1 slice of licorice  root in 400ml hot water for 20min,
will make a very simple but potent digestive tea.

In the next post,
we will reveal some common dietetic pitfalls regarding digestive wellness.

Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...