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Get set for some spring energy

http://www.chinese.cn 17:02, March 30, 2011 China.org.cn

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Vegetables
Vegetables

Fresh vegetables, especially those in red and dark green color, can help accelerate metabolism and thus relieve the fatigue in spring.

Spring is coming. The temperature is rising, the sun is shining and yang (hot) energy is surging in the universe. It's time for a new health regime - including a new diet.

With all the nasty germs and creatures waking up and starting to sprout, nutritious foods that help boost energy inside the human body are also necessary in this season.

TCM believes that yang energy grows rapidly in spring as the universe revives. And according to the theory of correspondence between human beings and the universe, the energy also expands naturally in the human body. However, people should be alert as it may expand in an imbalanced way.

According to TCM, yang energy in the liver grows more vigorously than in other organs in spring. If it grows too quickly and upsets the balance, the excessive yang energy in the liver will disrupt the normal circulation of energy and blood, and hurt other organs, especially the spleen.

"In that case, reinforcement with food is still recommended in spring, but a different strategy should be adopted -- a mild diet that nourishes the liver while controlling the yang energy in it and reinforces the spleen," says Dr Zhang Zhenxian, director of the Special Medical Care Department of Yueyang Western and TCM Hospital. Yang energy foods such as mutton and hot pot should not be eaten in spring. They are good in winter, but too strong for spring. Milder foods such as pork, carp and weever fish are more suitable.

Too much yang energy without sufficient nutrition will burden the liver itself and cause a weak liver. People may often feel thirsty and find they have dry lips and throat, and sometimes high blood pressure relapses. To restrict the over-active yang energy in the liver, certain pathogenic-heat-repelling foods are recommended as part of the diet during spring. These include pear, pearl barley, eggplant, loquat, chufa, shepherd's purse, spinach and celery.

"Eating less sour foods and more sweet foods is appropriate in spring, as it can help reinforce spleen energy," said Sun Simiao, a famous TCM doctor during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) in his masterpiece "Qianjin Yaofang" (Prescriptions Worth a Thousand Gold).

The "sweet food" in TCM does not refer to cuisine with a lot of sugar, but those natural foods that taste a bit sweet and can help benefit spleen and stomach. Yam, jujube and honey are on the top of the list.

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