Chinese Medicine Perspective on Dietary Habits

The basis for a healthy diet for any patient is simple: variety. The broader the range of foods a person eats the better. Research has shown that our ancestors ate a plant-based diet with amounts of meat at intervals, not as the largest component of every meal. Interestingly "The China Study" by T. Coin Campbell revealed that eating excessive amounts of animal protein is a sizable risk factor for developing cancer.  Today a massive amount of research continues to be focused on the human microbiota.  And what do the trillions of beneficial microbes in our guts feed on? Fiber.  We need to feed our probiotic colony fiber in order for it to thrive and support our optimal digestion and immune function.  For the vegetarian diet, variety is especially important to make sure an individual is getting all the amino acids necessary to maintain good health.

Beyond TCM dietary counseling, I also prescribe a range of supplements whenever necessary to get the results for patients where herbal medicine is not the best fit. For example, a broad-spectrum probiotic supplement is the best way to rebuild a patient’s vital gut flora after a course of antibiotics. And for patients with chronic pain, high-quality fish oil and turmeric are helpful to help decrease inflammation in the body so acupuncture can work faster to heal the affected tissue.