While a sweet taste delights our taste buds, overindulgence can cause or worsen digestive problems and upset our metabolic and emotional balance. According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, when one or more of the organs responsible for digestion no longer functions properly, it potentially puts the other organs of the body in danger.
Diabetes is one example of a disease that has a variety of health consequences that can sometimes result from a faulty digestive system. The onset of type 2 diabetes, also known as insulin-resistant diabetes, frequently affects the overweight adult population, although one may still suffer from the disease while being a normal weight.
According to acupuncture and Chinese medicine, after taking a bite and swallowing your food, the stomach receives it and proceeds to ‘cook,’ ‘steam’ or ‘ferment’ it. The stomach is known as ‘the sea of grain and water.’ The ‘cooking’ extracts vital nutrients from the ‘grain’ and passes them on to the spleen for further processing. The spleen then distributes the nutrients accordingly throughout the body.
Diet is significant for maintaining health or restoring it, and can help stabilize blood glucose levels and curb sweet cravings by following dietary recommendations.
Foods that represent the sweet flavor aid the stomach and spleen. It may surprise some to learn that acupuncture considers meats such as pork and chicken as sweet. Vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, corn, snow peas, squash and even turnips are also considered sweet.
If you wish to reduce your consumption of sweet foods and to curb your sweet tooth, eating a savory dish made with coconut milk can ease the need for a dessert afterward.
Anything heavily processed, greasy or high in sugar can injure the spleen and cause a condition known as internal phlegm. This disorder represents a turbid, heavy condition that interferes with digestion and can cause belching, bloating, pain and diarrhea.
If you are following a diabetic diet, even fruits are recommended only in moderate amounts due to their relatively high sugar content. Try pairing your fruit with a high-fiber grain like oatmeal. The fiber will slow down digestion and help keep blood sugar levels stable. Or you could consider a moderately sweet dessert comprised of a yam with butter and cinnamon.
By following the acupuncture guidelines for properties of food, you can easily find lower-sugar foods that are allowed, yet still provide a sweet flavor and can replace unhealthy desserts.
If you are looking for support managing your diabetes, or want customized nutritional counseling for diabetes, All and One Acupuncture can help! Call us today at our NE Portland clinic location to schedule a free consultation.