I need good nutrition in order to maintain good health. The best way to good nutrition is through food. Eating healthy foods should be my primary concern because my body absorbs nutrients the best from whole foods. Which kind of food that is best for me? Is it fast food? Organic? Natural? Processed? Prepared? Food quality in TCM is all about harmony and balance – Yin and Yang.
All foods have five flavors – sweet, sour, acrid, bitter, and salty. My body’s “inner voice” often reveals instinctively which flavor is of special significance. As part of a balanced lifestyle, I may give in to this inclination without hesitation. When I suffered from PMS, I craved sweet food because sweet foods can calm and quiet down my nervous system when inner stress strikes.
Foods with a balance thermal nature should be given preference in the daily diet : neutral, warm (to gently warm my body), hot (to invigorate and heat up my body), cool (to gently cool my body), and cold (to vigorously cleanse my body). Combining energetically cold and cool foods with warming foods is very beneficial. Hot and cold foods are thermal extremes and are employed rather sparingly, unless they are used to specifically treat beginning or established patterns of disharmony.
Fresh, unpolluted, naturally grown and produced foods are considered most valuable in TCM. Freshness is the highest priority, because fresh foods contain the most Qi and optimally develop their specific thermal effect. I have to avoid polluted foods, innards, highly processed and denatured foods, food additives, refined sugar and sweeteners, frozen foods, microwaving.
TCM believes that the end result of observing these food qualities and then combining them in a harmonious manner is good health and a sense of well-being.