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  • Sharon FitzGerald

The Healing Potential of Food

Hi everyone!

I wanted to give you some suggestions as to how to use food as a healing agent in this time of a viral pandemic. It is time to be smart about what we eat, what we think and how we live each and every day. It is time not to be in fear.

There are some really basic things we can express from Traditional Medicine that can be very helpful right now.

There is no simple fix, there is an external pathogen that is all around us now, and we are the ‘Host’. How do we protect ourselves in the best way?

Is our immune system strong?

Have we had a bronchitis or pneumonia recently or in the past?

Have we over used caffeine or alcohol?

Are we exhausted from the daily grind of life?

Are we getting enough sleep?

How are we feeling emotionally?

We all remember our grandmothers saying:

“rest, rest and more rest... and have some chicken soup!!”

Our immune systems will be more resilient when we are hydrated, well rested and feeling emotionally stable.

Hydration is not just about drinking water, but how it gets assimilated and absorbed into our bodies. We can increase that hydrating ability by having more food that are cooked in a lot of fluid, such as porridge, steamed rice, polenta, millet, grits

In Traditional Chinese Medicine {TCM}, everything is about balance.

How is it that some people will get very sick with this virus and others will have very little symptoms?

Of course, pre existing health situations are difficult as the system is weakened,

But generally, a system that is stagnant will increase the chances of us being the Host, and getting very sick. A system that is dehydrated will also behave similarly.

All of these scenarios can create a sticky situation. Please note that bowel function is crucial in this discussion. One sign of stagnation and/or dehydration is constipation.

This pandemic can be viewed as Sticky Lung Sickness,

What foods and /or habits contribute to this ‘Sticky Lung’ illness? As well as stagnation:

Sugar: slows everything down

Dairy: especially cheese

Gluten: Latin word for glue!!

Cold drinks, as well as cold food such as Ice cream, this created more phlegm

Excessive alcohol: this also creates a state of dehydration and phlegm

Caffeine: perhaps making a switch to jasmine tea as this type of green tea really benefits the Lung

So, when you think of it, pizza is not the best thing to be eating right now,

All of these foods create mucous, and stagnation in our systems, both lung and Large Intestine.

Being dehydrated and lack of rest will also contribute to a lowered immunity. You may be drinking a lot of water but if you have been under a great deal of stress, or not getting the rest you need, you will be in a chronic state of dehydration.

What is good to be eating right now?

The answer is anything that is easy to digest and is hydrating.

Foods that are included are soups and stews, as they have already been cooked, making them more easily digested. Steamed rice, millet, polenta, and porridge for breakfast. All cooked grains are good and very hydrating, I know there is some discussion about being grain free, but maybe this is not the time to be on a grain free diet.

Soups are great for protecting the digestion, and the fluids are not being released too quickly. {Think of drinking water to be more cleansing, not hydrating}

Any kind of soup is wonderful as long as there is not too much Garlic, this will stoke a fever.

Please increase any root vegetables you can find, still be steaming them. Until we get a little warmer outside and there is more power in the daylight sun, please make sure everything is slightly cooked or steamed, not much raw. Once we pass the June Solstice, introducing more raw food will be fine.

Include any kind of greens to your meal, kale, arugula, spinach, dandelion greens are all excellent, just make sure there is part of your meal that is warm. These greens are so beneficial for the liver and as we are in the season of Spring, essential for gentle cleansing.

One last thing to mention: a tip to help improve the hydration of the Large Intestine: and this is to drink 1-2 glasses of room temperature water first thing in the morning. When you get this water down quickly, it bypasses the signals to the stomach and will instead stimulate the Large Intestine, this downward action energetically activates the downward action of the L.I. and will bring on a bowel movement relatively quickly. Give it a try.

Remember: ROOM TEMPERATURE water, cold water will stimulate a constriction in the system.

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