Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Vitamin C

Ah, vitamin C. The most popular nutrient! Somehow everybody knows that you take vitamin C when you get a cold, or feel that flu coming on. For centuries people understood that something in fresh fruits and vegetables – especially citrus fruits –prevented scurvy, a debilitating disease that often affected sailors (since they would go months without any fresh food). Vitamin C has a broad range of functions in the body, acting as a cofactor for numerous enzymes as well as functioning as an antioxidant. Vitamin C correlates with several different systems in Chinese Medicine physiology as well.
Assorted fruits and vegetables

Nutrients in Chinese Medicine – Part 2, B vitamins

B vitamins are a group of nutrients that are essential to numerous processes in the body. The list consists of thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), biotin (B7), folate (B9), and cobalamin (B12). Most of us know about them, as they are an essential part of every multivitamin supplement. As a group they are involved primarily in the chemical reactions of energy metabolism, as well as synthesis of a variety of compounds necessary to life. In an attempt to understand these vitamins as a system, let’s examine them as a group, looking for commonalities of function, and common symptoms of deficiency. Individual aspects can be explored if necessary.

Warming Foods Diet

In the modern world there are a lot of things that contribute to digestive weakness, or Spleen Qi deficiency in Chinese Medicine. Spleen Qi deficiency is extremely common in this country, in part because of how and what we eat. The excessive use of antibiotics also creates weakness in this organ system. In order to support a weakened Spleen, certain eating habits beyond those of my Basic Food Guidelines are very helpful. I, and many other practitioners, call this the Warming Foods Diet. But first, how do you know if you have Spleen deficiency?

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