Chapter 26: Food for Thought
Throughout this book, I have stressed the importance of eating healthily. It is not just about balancing the nutrients you take in with the energy you expend; you must give your body the right fuel. As you now by know, a good diet helps us to build up good blood material, fight free radicals, balance our body’s pH, preserve the nervous system, and more. Even though we live in an era of fast-food chains and supermarkets, every one of us can find healthy ingredients and enjoy the countless benefits of balanced eating.
One easy step to take toward a better diet is to start replacing your coffee, sodas, and milkshakes with something more natural: tea. Drinking tea helps the body in numerous ways. First, the tea stimulates your body’s hot-cold energy flow, and returns your body to a healthy temperature. When it enters your digestive track, it heats up the cold energy in your stomach. Again, remember, this cold energy travels up (like steam) to cool your head. Thus, you can regain a healthy body temperature.
Additionally, certain teas (such as green, black, and white tea) have ingredients that help your digestive system. In one study, scientists looked at how the catechin found in green tea affected obesity. The researchers discovered that, “rats that consumed a diet high in tea catechin had changes in their digestion that were not found in the control group.”1 Rats consuming tea catechin lost weight and lost some of their stomach fat tissue. This occurred because tea catechins slow down the actions of digestive enzymes, causing the intestines to not absorb all of the calories that are consumed. This signifies that drinking green tea not only puts your energy back into balance, but it can also help prevent obesity.
Another type of tea that I strongly recommend is multigrain tea. This tea is made from a variety of whole grains, which provide fiber and help clear out your digestive track. Additionally, whole grains are alkaline, meaning that they are one of the best ingredients for countering any acidosis buildup in your blood.
If you search for “multigrain” or “wholegrain” tea at the local store, it is very likely that you will not find any. Instead, it is best to make you own tea so that you can hand pick the ingredients. Here is how I make my multigrain tea. (What are the measurements, and how much will it make? For example, to make a cup, how much of each ingredient is used?)
- Uncooked brown rice;
- Whole grains like:
- Black beans;
- Brown beans;
- Kidney beans.
How to make multigrain tea:
- Separately dry roast (without salt or oil) each of the raw brown rice and grains until they change to a darker color (dark brown to black);
- Combine the dry roasted rice, grains, and water into a pot;
- Bring to a boil;
- After it reaches a boil, put the stove on low and let it sit for 1 to 5 hours;
- Drain the rice and grains out of the tea.
Tea can be stored in a thermos, and leftovers can be refrigerated. Feel free to eat the rice and grains that were used.
Another great source of whole grains is one that I have mentioned repeatedly throughout this book: brown rice. If you are limited on time, you can purchase a box of instant brown rice that you can cook in under ten minutes. Of course, more traditional brown rice is preferred.
If you purchase instant brown rice, here is how to cook it:
- Soak the grains in cold water for two to five hours;
- Remove, then rinse the rice a couple of times;
- Put the rice in a pot with two and a half times as much water;
- For example, if you are cooking one cup of rice grains, add two and a half cups of water;
- Bring the water to a boil, then turn down the heat to low;
- Let the rice simmer for 30-40 minutes with the lid on. Make sure it does not overflow or burn.
- After the time is up, remove the pot from the pan and keep the lid on until you serve the rice. Leftovers can be refrigerated or frozen.
So, the next time you are considering buying white rice or pasta, opt to try brown rice instead. If plain brown rice is too bland for your taste, worry not. In fact, combining brown rice with other healthy foods is a great way to make the snack taste better and add more nutrition. For one last recipe, here is how I eat brown rice. Instead of having it plain, I include black beans, brown beans, and barley.
- Brown rice;
- Black beans;
- Brown beans;
- Combine the ingredients into a pot (or, if possible, a pressure cooker);
- Stir the water;
- Put the stove on high and bring the water to a boil;
- Set heat on low and let it cook for 40 minutes;
Now that we have covered the basics, what should someone eat in specific cases? What follows is some dietary advice for a variety of situations.
As discussed in Chapter 10, let me discuss how to address acidosis. As you now know, acidosis is a problem that concerns all of us, and it is directly affected by what we eat. When someone eats too many acid-forming foods, the body’s pH slowly begins to drop below the healthy level of 7.3 to 7.4. Here are some examples of acid-forming foods:
- Animal meat;
- Certain seafood, such as tuna, shrimp, octopus, etc.;
- Dairy Products, as in milk, cheese, ice-cream, eggs, etc.;
- Drinks like whiskey, soda, or beer;
- Fried or junk food.
Of course, some of the items listed above, like some seafood and various types of meat, are actually good for you. Eat some, but then balance them out with alkaline foods. A more accurate name for alkaline foods would be “alkaline-forming foods.” For example, foods such as citrus fruits may not have a pH higher than 7 when measured directly. The compounds that they form when digested are what actually help offset acidosis. Here are some examples of good alkaline-forming foods:
- Citrus: lemons, oranges, limes, etc.;
- Grains and legumes: brown rice, black beans, brown beans, barley, whole wheat;
- Fruits like bananas, strawberries, grapes, apple, kiwi, etc.;
- Vegetables like lettuce, spinach, cabbage, carrots etc.;
Again, I am not saying to cut out all meat and dairy products from your diet. After all, if you eat only alkaline foods, your body’s pH level could become too high and start to affect your nervous system. By the way, the daily nutritional requirements of a 5’8" man weighing 150 pounds, leading a sedentary lifestyle, needs 269 to 389 grams of carbohydrates, 55 grams of protein, and 53-93 grams of fat.2 The carbohydrates should come from fruits, vegetables, and grains. For more examples of what to eat for specific problems, continue reading.
If you suffer from high blood pressure, you must cut back on white foods. Such items are what contribute to the blockages in your vessels.
Things to avoid:
- White grains: white flour, white rice, white sugar, etc.;
- Over-processed items: white bread, margarine, pasta, etc.;
- Junk food like pizza, fast food, burgers, etc.;
- Candies, ice cream, cakes, and other fattening desserts.
Eating junk food infrequently can occur, but strict moderation is the key. Don’t make it a daily habit. Luckily, most of the things that you should eat have already been discussed in the previous sections of this book. Eating mostly vegetables, fruits, and whole grains makes it harder for your body to convert energy into triglycerides or cholesterol.
The dietary fix for constipation is simple: eat more fiber. Fiber itself doesn’t provide you with energy, it instead it “cleans out” your digestive track by scraping out any food that is stuck within. This results in better bowel movements. Below are some examples of high fiber foods:
- Whole grains, such as brown rice and barley;
- Black and brown beans;
Finally, this book would not be complete without talking about wild ginseng. Ginseng is a slow growing herb that is the most popular medicine in Eastern Asia. It takes about six years for the plant’s roots to grow to be of the highest quality, and as a result, ginseng is very expensive. If you buy it fresh, you can steam and eat the root in very small amounts. More commonly, fresh, powdered, or ginseng in jars is consumed in the form of tea.
But why is it so popular? People who use ginseng correctly experience tremendous health benefits. Ginseng stimulates our body’s hot-cold energy flow because it has a hot character about it, which is transferred to anybody who uses it. Usually, older people need help maintaining their energy circulation. If you feel a senior citizen’s hands and feet, they are cold because their energy circulation is poor, and their body character is dry. Therefore, they like ginseng because it helps them become warm. It also helps to purify the body’s blood, and increases energy.
However, consuming it is not good for everybody because it is so strong. If you are someone with a hot character (Is there a way somebody can determine their character? This might be helpful.), it can be dangerous. Ginseng causes your energy to go up, and then the energy will immediately go down again. If used continuously, this has the potential to cause death. The energy flowing in the body needs to flow up and down gradually, not suddenly. This side-effect will be decreased or stopped if you take the following precautions:
- Do not have sex before consuming it;
- Drink clean water. You can use well water if it available, or use the cleanest water you can find from whatever source you have. This is important because natural water is very cold, which is a good contrast to the heat of ginseng. It is also “alive”, and has lots of minerals in it.
- Eat millet, because it has a cold and dry nature. Ginseng is of a hot nature, so the millet balances it out;
- Eat small amounts of salt and sesame.
If you don’t follow this advice, when you use ginseng, your face will become red. You will get lots of painful headaches. Without using the above techniques, there will be no counteraction of the ginseng’s affects. The appropriate amount of ginseng depends upon each person’s body type and health condition at that time. Ultimately, be careful, and you will be able to experience the benefits of using ginseng.