Is Juicing Right For You?
The Juice Craze and Protecting Your Spleen
Juicing seems to be all the rage these days and it is hard to argue with the health benefits of juicing ingredients. However there is some pushback among Traditional Eastern Medicines. Both Chinese Medicine and the Ayurvedic communities agree that this is not a cure all for all people.
Juicing is often a lot of raw fruits and vegetables combined and consumed all at once. Both fruits and vegetables for the most part are considered cold foods. Eating a lot of cold foods can be difficult for people to digest, as the body has to work harder to break it down. This is particularly a problem in people with dampness or phlegm issues and they can often exacerbate these patterns.
If the following symptoms seem to describe you, juicing may not be the best for your constitution and your goal in reaching optimum health – which you’re probably interested in if you’ve started juicing!
Signs of Cold:
- Tendency to feel chilled and preferring heat.
- Loose stools sometimes with undigested food
- Slow metabolism
- Quiet, withdrawn, tendency toward fatigue and depression
- Prefers warm drinks and rarely thirsty
Signs of dampness:
- Mentally Foggy
- Feeling worse with humidity or dampness
- Abdominal bloating, sometimes with nausea
- Stuffy nose, postnasal drip
- Low appetite and low thirst
- Cloudy urine
If these symptoms describe you, a juicing regimen is not the best route to take. Don’t give up on the path to wellness or give up on your veggies though!
Here are some foods that would be better for your constitution:
Cooked root vegetables: Parsnips, squash, sweet potatoes, onions and mustard greens are examples of wonderfully healthy options suited more to your constitution. Lentils, and grains such as oatmeal, quinoa and buckwheat are good options to add to your diet as well. Most nuts are also warming.
Balancing your foods temperature
If you’ve started juicing and don’t want to give it up, you can offset some of the coldness by adding warming ingredients. Throw some cayenne pepper and ginger into your drink as they have warming properties and will make it easier for your body to digest.
This is a good practice to use in all of your cooking. Nuts and seeds are warming, as are butter, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and pepper. You’ll notice a lot of traditional dishes often contain a lot of these spices in order to make them palatable as well as digestible. So think about incorporating these delicious and healthy spices into the foods you’re eating. Most importantly, listen to your body. If you feel bloated, and have stymied digestion from your food choices, it may be time to make some changes.
If you could benefit from some digestive guidance, make an appointment and come see us in the clinic. We always discuss diet and nutrition at your acupuncture visits!
Mariah Van Horn, L.Ac.