What Balanced Eating means in TCM

In Chinese Medicine the Spleen (not the physical spleen organ as we all know it) is energetically in charge of the digestive, assimilation and metabolic process. Nourishing the Spleen with tonic herbs, acupuncture and of most importance, the right foods helps it do its job more efficiently. However certain eating choices slow down those functions especially in someone who is already weak in that area. Those foods also are also usually void of vital nutrients so the chain reaction of poor sustenance continues.

The Spleen is damaged by dampness and foods that create 'dampness' (a pathogenic factor in TCM related to retention and poor distribution of fluid in the body e.g. mucus) such as fried and greasy foods, refined sugars and starches, dairy, iced drinks and an over consumption of raw foods and those with *cold energetic properties. So ironically, too much salad, juicing, and fruits and as well as most refined foods will damage the Spleen as they dampen the digestive fire and metabolism and may cause weight gain amongst countless health issues.


  • Moderation is key to balance - There is no place in a healthy diet for an extreme emphasis and overuse or underuse of one food or group of foods, at the expense of balance and variety.

  • The word food does not mean edible, but 'real food'- food in its original whole form, not highly processed, refined, chemicalized and devitalized.

  • A balanced diet varies from one person to the next depending on their health needs and internal imbalances at a particular point in time.

  • Preparation is the first part of a meal - trying to avoid this takes lots away from the potential of healing and gaining all you need from a balanced diet.

  • There are no "bad foods", only inappropriate foods from one person to the next. Well obviously except for the "fake-foods", they don't apply to any discussion on diet. All foods are good when used appropriately, in moderation and in cases of illness by the right person at the right time.


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