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Chinese Food TherapyThe Chinese diet is very different from that of the Western diet. Instead of focusing on the primary five groups as does the latter, Chinese diet focuses on balance and harmony, involving everything from the individual's constitution, current conditions, and even the current weather and climate. The Chinese balanced diet focuses on the following key factors:

- foods are eaten based on various flavors, energies, and organic actions rather than on a single flavor or energy or organic action
- foods are selected according to the individual's needs and physical constitution
- foods are eaten to counter the elements, so that in the summer you would eat more "cooling" foods wheras in the winter you would eat more "warming" foods

The main concept behind the Chinese diet is to utilize the energetics behind the foods to tonify any deficiencies and/or reduce any excesses in the individual so that the body returns to energetic harmony. It is when the body's energy is out of balance that illnesses and diseases occur, and so returning the body to harmonic balance is important for good health.

How the Chinese Diet differs from the Western Diet

There are two basic differences between Chinese and Western diets.
Herbal Chicken Soup
1. The meaning of Diet
Western diet focuses almost exclusively on diet for weight loss. However, the Chinese diet is designed not only to help one lose weight but also to treat many other ailments, including hypertension, diabetes, common cold, gastritis, diarrhea, constipation, cough, hepatitis, common acne, eczema, and so on.

2. The focus of the Diet
In Western diet, foods are considerd for their protein, calorie, carbohydrate, vitamin, and other nutrient content. But in Chinese diet, foods are considered for their flavors, energies, movements, and common and organic actions, in addition to their nutritive content. These properties are essential in enabling the foods themselves to be used to counter any imbalances or congestions in the body.

Affect of Diet on the Human Body based on Flavors

The Chinese believe that different flavors have their respective important effects upon the internal organs, which is why flavors is a key element in selecting food as part of the diet. It is believed that:Fresh vegetables

- PUNGENT flavor can act on the lungs and large intestines, and can induce perspiration and promote energy circulation.
- SWEET flavor can act on the stomach and spleen, can slow down the acute symptoms, and neutralize the toxic effects of other foods.
- SOUR flavor can act on the liver and gall bladder, and can obstruct movements; therefore they are useful in checking diarrhea and excessive perspiration.
- BITTER flavor can act on the heart and small intestine, and can Chinese steam ricereduce body heat, dry body fluids, abnd induce diarrhea.
- SALTY flavor can act on the kidneys and bladder, and can be useful in treating tuberculosis of the lymph nodes and other symptoms involving the hardening of the muscles or glands.

As part of the total treatment plan, a suitable Chinese diet will be recommended that will complement the other treatment types being administered, whether acupuncture, moxibustion, etc. This diet will help to facilitate and enhance the healing process.



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