What foods to eat for optimum health according to Chinese medicine
Chinese medicine, like most traditions recommends eating foods that are in season. In autumn and winter slow cooked foods are necessary. They are warm, easier to digest and can be a great way to boost energy and counteract cold and damp. The United Kingdom is an island, therefore considered a damp and wet environment.
In autumn and winter, stews, soups and roasted vegetables are considered great fertility foods. Depending on your diagnosis, small amounts of raw foods may be included, but make sure these are not too cold – i.e. leave them out of the fridge before you consume them.
Home made chicken soup is a specialty in Chinese medicine, acupuncture, as it improves digestion, reduces allergies and boosts the immune system. It is recommended that men and women eat this to aid fertility. The recipe below is a great way to nourish the body and provide it with energy and nutrients. Chicken bones, when slow stewed, are full of minerals and collagen and can have a positive effect on the health of tendons, ligaments, joints, skin, mucus membranes, and bones.
- 2 large carrots, peeled (if not organic) and diced
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 small leek, chopped
- 1 – 2 bay leaves
- 1 large onion or two small onions
- fresh thyme sprigs
- small handful of black peppercorns
- ginger root – to taste
- Garlic 2 – 3 cloves
- teaspoon of acid vinegar – this helps to extract minerals from the chicken bone during cooking
- chicken – use chicken on the bone, chicken legs are fine or you could use the leftovers of a whole chicken
- Lightly sweat the onions and leek in a large pan, add the garlic and ginger for a further two minutes, add the chicken bones and remaining ingredients and cover with water.
- Bring to simmer and leave half uncovered for one and a half to two hours (take of any froth that appears).
- bring to the boil and add 1 more large diced carrot and any other vegetables of your choice) and the left over chicken legs / chicken meat.
Bone broth can be made by slow cooking chicken bones for 12 hours or more. I use my slow cooker for this and strain the liquid to be stored in the fridge and freezer in glass jars. It is useful when cooking to add flavour and an excellent way to replace oils when cooking.