Give Your Digestion a Boost! Make a Nutritious Breakfast Congee and Change Your Day!

By Cailey Halloran L. Ac., Dipl. O.M.

If you suffer from digestive issues, you are not alone! According to the National Institutes of Health, sixty to seventy million Americans suffer from GI issues such as: chronic constipation, loose stools, reflux, hemorrhoids and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). To help provide an overall picture of your health, a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner will ask you about your digestion. In TCM philosophy, seemingly unrelated issues with your sleep, skin, pain, or energy can also be related to poor digestion. In Chinese Medicine, food related headaches appear in the forehead. If you ever notice a frontal headache, think about what foods you ate and perhaps it could be related. Foods producing phlegm also indicate digestive imbalance. Acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas are specifically targeted to improve digestive health. Still, you are your best advocate. We encourage our patients to explore another branch of Chinese medicine that can greatly affect their health: nutrition.

In Chinese medicine, the spleen and stomach transform your food and fluid into nourishment and deliver it to the four limbs of your body. When digestion is compromised, your body runs less efficiently. Take a moment and picture the last embers of a campfire. Imagine a pot above those embers. In this image, the pot represents your stomach and the embers are the digestive fire warming and breaking down food into usable energy for our bodies. When we first wake up in the morning, it is ideal to stoke the embers of the fire. The best way to do this is with the right meal. Ideally, we want to keep the pot warm, and starting with something light, hot, and nutritious will deliver the most energy.

 

Check out some delicious Congee recipes here.