Are you curious about what are the foods that can help to strengthen your spleen? Before that, let us learn what are the functions of the spleen in TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) context and how to find out if you have a weak spleen before discovering what foods can benefit the spleen.
The function of Spleen in TCM perspectives
In TCM context, the spleen is always known as the source of Qi (Energy flow) and Blood (气血生化之源). Thus, the spleen has two very important functions:
- Digesting of food and fluid we consume.
- Absorbing the nutrients from the foods we eat and delivering these nutrients to the other parts of the body.
As you can see from the above two points, the spleen is very important for anyone and we can’t afford to hurt our spleen when choosing what to eat.
When one’s spleen is weakened, it will affect the nutrient absorption efficiency so that is why some people who have a weak spleen will see little or no effects even after eating tonic herbs and foods. This is because most of the nutrients are not absorbed by the body.
How to know if you have a weak spleen
The following are the indications to help you identify if you have a weak spleen (also known as Spleen Qi Deficiency):
- Poor appetite.
- Bloated stomach or stomach easily bloated after a meal.
- Easily tired, and very soft-spoken.
- The tongue coating is white in color.
- Loose and sticky stools.
Foods that will hurt your spleen
Avoid eating foods and drinks that are high in sugar as the high sugar content will add a burden to the spleen and cause it to slow down efficiency.
You should also avoid oily foods as well. There might be times when you notice that after eating something oily, you will feel that your stomach is bloated and feel indigestion. This is because the oil has affected the digestion function of the spleen. Having said that, you might not get this feeling all the time because it also depends on the other foods that you eat along with the oily stuff and the time of the day.
In TCM, it is highly recommended to avoid eating cold and raw foods because they both hurt various organs like the spleen, kidneys, and livers. In all cases, avoid (or at least) eating cold and raw foods now especially if you have a weak spleen.
Foods that help to strengthen your spleen
The following foods will help to strengthen the Qi in the spleen. If your spleen has dampness, you can follow the tips in this post to remove dampness in the body.
The following foods will help to strengthen your spleen but also remember to avoid (or reduce) eating sweet, oily, and cold/raw foods in order for them to be effective!
- Chinese yam – Chinese yam is a fantastic food to eat as it helps to strengthen not only the spleen but also the lungs and kidneys too. You can eat Chinese yam with porridge or add it to the soup. Read here for more details on Chinese yam.
- White lentils – White lentils can also help to remove dampness in the spleen so it is another excellent food to help you strengthen your spleen. You can add some white lentils to your rice as a quick and easy way to include it in your diet. Read here for more details on white lentils.
- Broad beans – similar to white lentils, broad beans can help to strengthen the spleen and remove dampness from the body. Read here for more details on broad beans.
- Soy beans – Soy beans products are another excellent source of foods to help with your spleen. Include soy drinks and tofu into your daily meals for better results. Read here for more details on soybeans.
- Sorghum – Sorghum is a type of grain that you can add to your rice like white lentils to help with the weak spleen. But do note that people with diabetes should avoid eating sorghum. Read here for more details on sorghum.
Finally, one very good soup that you can consider drinking is the Si Shen Soup. It helps greatly in strengthening the spleen, removing dampness, and improving energy levels. Click here for the detailed blog post on Si Shen Soup. If you have a weak spleen, you can drink Si Shen Soup regularly even up to 5 times a week with no side effects.
Hope you find this blog post useful!