The Best Diet for Spleen Qi Deficiency
All too often my patients show signs of Spleen Qi deficiency, and the best way to help them is through dietary recommendations. The best diet for Spleen Qi deficiency includes hot and cooked foods as well as ingredients that are naturally heated.
A pale, swollen tongue with teeth marks and a feeling of weakness or rolling pulses are immediate signs that a patient is experiencing Spleen Qi deficiency. I feel how they feel tired or even weak, their worries and concerns that tend to overthink. There are also complaints of bloating, loose stools or constipation.
What is Spleen Qi Deficiency?
In the search for foods that improve digestion, energy, mental clarity, and a balanced metabolism, the concept of Spleen Qi deficiency provides a useful framework. Acupuncturists introduce many people to the idea that their spleen plays a vital role in digestion. The spleen in Chinese medicine includes the meridians, or energy channels, as well as the organ itself.
What are the signs of Spleen Qi deficiency?
Some of the common symptoms of Spleen Qi deficiency include:
- Lassitude: state of physical or mental tiredness or lack of energy
- Bloating, especially after eating
- Gas, belching, flatulence
- Loose stools or constipation
- Dull or bitter complexion
- Weakness of arms and legs
- Feeling of heaviness
- Pale or swollen tongue
- Weak or “empty” pulse.
Causes of Spleen Qi Deficiency
Here are some of the main causes of Spleen Qi deficiency:
- Mental tension or prolonged periods of worry or overthinking
- Chronic or long-term illness or disease
- Excessive cold or raw food diet
- Irregular eating patterns or eating on the run
Digestion is a fire
The Spleen, as described in ancient texts, “hates cold” and is fueled by the fire of digestion, the Spleen Yang (and the Kidney Yang, later). Keeping this digestive fire fed helps the Spleen to digest the food we put in the stomach. In Western medicine, this may be referred to as “Leaky Gut” or “Microbiome”, and you can read more about the connection here.
A healthy spleen will properly digest food and liquids preventing problems such as bloating and water retention.
Increases metabolism and water metabolism
Water metabolism is an important domain of Spleen Qi and Yang. This ability to “transform and transport fluids” means that we have the power to strengthen our own system with a diet that is good for our Spleen Qi. Bloating, as well as many other forms of digestive discomfort, can be addressed with the right food choices and cooking methods.
The best diet for Spleen Qi deficiency would include:
1. Warm and well-cooked food
Chinese medicine teaches us that food preparation is crucial to digestion. Too many raw and cold foods start to put out the digestive fire, making it increasingly difficult to digest the food we eat.
Conversely, the more we eat warm, well-cooked and easy-to-digest foods, i hydrating or “wet” food, such as soup, congee, and porridge, makes it easier for the Spleen to digest food and liquids.
2. Food with a warm nature
Another vital consideration is the temperature or inherent nature of every food we eat. Simply put, ginger, hot peppers, and many other more subtle foods are heated regardless of temperature when eaten, but cucumbers and mint are naturally cooling even when made into hot tea.
Too many foods with a refreshing character can also contribute to dampening the fire of digestion.
Combining these two temperature considerations is the best way to choose foods that will nourish any Spleen Qi deficiency.
Breakfast Cure was created to make it easier than ever to address your Spleen Qi deficiency. Because I saw so many patients who were experiencing Spleen Qi deficiency, I created Breakfast Cure to make it easy for them to start their day with hydrating foods that are warm in temperature and nature. If you suspect you may have a Spleen Qi deficiency, I encourage you to try any breakfast recipe (check out our delicious flavors here). For best results, I recommend eating Breakfast Cure at least four days a week. Your Spleen Qi will thank you!