Curing Gout Naturally

What is gout?

Gout is a form of joint inflammation that is caused by excess uric acid in the body. This happens due to poor diet, stress and not enough sleep. Gout causes a sudden and severe pain — you’ll notice the skin over the affected joint is usually red and glossy. Often times, gout attacks come on as fast as overnight. Men between 30 and 50 years old are mostly affected by gout, for pre menopausal women, the uric acid level is lower, but after age 50 uric acid tends to increase along with the increase of gout incidents.

Primarily, gout affects one and sometimes two joints at a time; more often it attacks the feet and ankles. Even without healing, the pain subsides for about a week. It takes months or years before it returns, during this time attacks become more frequent and more severe, more joints are now involved. And when gout becomes chronic, the damage to the joint is deforming and crippling.

Can gout be cured naturally?

Curing gout naturally takes time, especially if a body has accumulated toxins over a lifetime, but it will be well worth the effort. Cleansing your system of accumulated toxins promotes proper functioning of your body and puts you on the road to natural good health.

Here’s what you can do:

1. Maintain a healthy weight and diet. It is not recommended to be 30 pounds (or more) overweight, as this increases the risk of gout.

2. Loose weight if you need to. By losing weight you reduce the pressure on weight-bearing joints and also lower uric acid levels. You don’t want to use practices that encourage rapid weight loss such as fasting as it can raise the uric acid level temporarily.

3. Avoid excessive eating of high protein foods. It is suggested for a person to eat no more than six ounces of lean meat, fish and poultry, especially those who already have gout. A high-protein food increases the blood level of uric acid.

Natural treatment for gout

Eating simple and natural food in proper combination and preparation helps your body restore and maintain vibrant health. The best diet for people with gout is 80 percent raw food or if possible organic food; these include live foods like sprouts, wheat grass, and fresh picked garden salads, and more grains, fruits and vegetables in place of protein.

The protein you need can come from non-animal food sources like legumes, such as beans, peas and lentils. Nuts are also essential and can include almonds, apricot nuts, and hazelnuts, as well as seeds such as hemp seed hearts, flax, and sesame.

A substance in some foods known as purines is a danger to gout patients and should be limited or avoided as much as possible.

The foods that contain high levels of purines include,

o Organ meats like liver, brain, kidney, tongue, tripe, and sweetbread

o Anchovies, herring and mackerel

o Meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, fish roe, scallops

o Peas, lentils, and beans though they have small amounts of purines, they should still be avoided by people suffering from gout.

Balancing the pH in a person’s body is a crucial factor in curing gout; proper pH produces a healthy immune system and internal environment. Healing of chronic illness occurs when the blood is restored to normal or slightly alkaline pH.

Exercise is another essential for curing pains caused by gout. Stretching increases and maintains a range of motion in the joints and helps to strengthen and stabilize them. This also increases the endurance and stamina of the body overall.

Reducing repetitive use of joints, and avoiding sports injuries by including proper warm-ups are also important, as it choosing suitable sports equipment for exercising.

Another way is treat gout naturally is to avoid alcoholic beverages; consuming excessive alcohol like beer inhibits the excretion of uric acid and can lead to gout. It is advised for a male to have two drinks of alcohol per day, one drink per day for women. It is best for a person who is having a gout attack to refrain from drinking alcohol.

Drinking water and is also a natural way of curing gout because it has the ability to dilute uric acid in both blood and urine.

German Recipes and Cuisine

In other countries, German food often has a reputation for consisting of large amounts of red meat, simply cooked. While it is true that red meat dishes, especially beef and pork, but also game (including wild boar, venison and rabbit), are popular in Germany, there is much more to German cuisine than simply roasted meat. Additionally, Germany has an international reputation for its sausages – and there are an incredible choice of sausages available – at least 1,500 varieties!

Traditionally in Germany, people eat a fairly light breakfast (German: frühstück) which may include breads and some meats (such as salted meats like salami, ham, or meat spreads such as leberwurst), a fairly light evening meal (German: abendessen or abendbrot), and have their main meal at lunch (German: mittagessen). Sometimes, a “second breakfast” (German: zweites frühstück) also be eaten during mid-morning, and because of modern working patterns is quite common now for the day’s main hot meal to be eaten in the evening instead of at lunch time.

Here are some popular German dishes:

– Blood sausage (German: Blutwurst) – A sausage made from blood, meat and barley (similar to English black pudding). Blutwurst is often made from fatty pork meat with cow’s blood, but in the Rhineland area, horse meat with is traditional. A popular variation is “zungenwurst” which includes pickled pig’s tongue in the sausage mix. Although the sausages are ready cooked and ready to eat, blutwurst is almost always heated and served hot.

– Weißwürste – White sausages made from pork fat. Originally from Munich (German: München), this dish is often eaten as part of “second breakfast” (German: zweites frühstück).

– Frankfurter sausage – A sausage made with smoked pork. While it is eaten hot with bread and mustard, it is not exactly the same as the American “frankfurter” sausage.

– Bratwurst – Bratwurst are a popular variety of sausages made from pork or beef (or sometimes veal), and normally eaten hot with mustard and ketchup. Bratwurst is also used as an ingredient for some other dishes; for example, currywurst is made by slicing bratwurst and dipping the slices into a tomato-based curry sauce.

– Sauerkraut – Finely sliced cabbage, fermented in an airtight container. It can be eaten as a relish, dressed with oil and onions as a salad, heated and served hot, or used as ingredient in other dishes.

– Schupfnudeln – Sauerkraut cooked with potato noodles.

– Spätzle – The German version of noodles. A simple dough is made from flour, eggs and salt, and it is then cooked in boiling water. Spätzle is often eaten as a side dish with meat, but may also be used as an ingredient in other dishes too.

– Linsen, spätzle und saitenwürstle – Spätzle cooked with lentils and frankfurter-style sausages.

– Kässpätzle – Spätzle mixed with grated cheese and fried onions, then fried or baked.

– Krautspätzle – A cooked mixture of spätzle, sauerkraut, onions and butter.

– Gaisburger marsch – A traditional beef stew, contained cubes of beef, potatoes and spätzle. The stew is topped with onions fried in butter.

– Eisbein – Braised leg of pork, served with gravy, klöße and sauerkraut. In Berlin, eisbein is cooked with pea puree.

– Labskaus (also known as “Lapskaus”) – Corned beef boiled in broth, and then minced with beetroot, onion, potatoes, and herring or ham, and finally fried in lard. Traditionally accompanied with rollmops (pickled fillets of herring).

– Hasenpfeffer – A stew made from marinated rabbit meat, with a sour taste created by adding wine or vinegar.

– Schwenker – Grilled pork steaks, prepared with a marinade of onions and spices.

– Saumagen – Translated literally, saumagen means “sow’s stomach”. It is probably best understood as being the (rough) German equivalent of haggis. Basically pork or beef with onions, carrots and a variety of spices and flavors is cooked in pig’s stomach. It should be noted that the stomach itself is not eaten, but is just used as a casing when cooking. The usual accompaniments are mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.

– Klöße – Traditional German dumplings made from grated potato or dried bread, with milk and egg yolk. In Bavaria and Austria, it known as “knödel” or “knödeln”.

– Schwarzwälder kirschtorte – Known as “Black Forest gateau in the United Kingdom, and “Black Forest Cake” the United States, Canada and Australia – Layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and cherries between each layer. The cake is then decorated with more whipped cream as well as maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings. In Germany, kirschwasser (a clear brandy made from cherries) is traditionally used in making the cake, although in other countries this is frequently substituted (for example, in Austria, rum is often used instead), or omitted entirely.

– Stollen – A bread-like fruitcake with citrus peel, dried fruit, almonds and spices, often eaten at Christmas. The most famous variety is Dresden Stollen from the city of Dresden, which is marked with a special stamp, and only available from 150 bakers.

– Lebkuchen – Cookies made from gingerbread, also often eaten during the Christmas period.

The Number 1 American Bull Dog Health Problem

American Bull dogs live long and happy lives when provided with the proper health care, which includes, diet, vaccinations, exercise and grooming. The American Bull dog health problem usually comes from improper health care. The cardiovascular problems along with the joint problem do not affect these smaller dogs as they do the larger dogs. Some studies have suggested that larger dogs have more hormone growth than the smaller, which is believed to shorten the life span.

The number one health problem for this breed of dog is diet. Coming up second in the care of the American Bull dog is the vaccines needed to remain healthy. Because these small dogs need less exercise, the diet needs to reflect the need for less food than a dog that has more exercise needs.

Feeding Your American Bulldog

Some believe that dogs can eat the same foods as what we do; this may result in improper nutrition that is supply by dog food. Because dog food has the necessary nutrition and vitamins needed to maintain a healthy life, food ingredients need to be checked before feeding to your dog. Because a dog’s digestive system has fewer problems digesting raw foods rather than cooked foods, dog foods contain additives that attract the dog’s attention.

The American Bull dog health problem with food is that they like foods such as oatmeal, cheese, eggs and fresh meats like poultry and beef. Unbelievably they also like fruit and vegetables, but they prefer uncooked foods, but do eat prepared foods, as will any dog. Are the foods that we eat are safe or not for the American Bull dog? This question has many viewpoints from many different veterinarians and breeders. The choice is yours when caring for your dog.

Vaccinations, The Number 2 American Bull Dog Health Problem

Keeping your Bulldog up to date on vaccinations is vital to their health and maintaining a healthy life without disease and even death. Viral diseases affect dogs that receive no vaccinations against such contagious diseases. The vaccinations protect the dogs against distemper, rabies and the parvovirus. In most states, the dogs will also receive heartworm pills to prevent the attack of heartworm.

Before a heartworm treatment is started, the dogs are checked to make sure they do not already have the health problem. If a dog has contacted heartworm already, prevention treatments may kill the dog, therefore, a test by the veterinarian will determine the dog’s status. Do not take vaccinations and heartworm treatments into your own hands, a vet is more qualified than you are to diagnose and treat the American Bulldog.

You have a beautiful dog that relies on your care and love to survive, the American Bull dog health problem does not have to be a problem when you take the time to learn about the care and grooming of these dogs. Always remember proper nutrition and exercise along with vaccinations keep your precious Bulldog healthy and happy.

The Many Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a member of the ginger family, and it has blessed mankind with its manifold uses since times ancient. One will find turmeric in almost every household of the Oriental countries. Turmeric being easily available in Asia, the Asians are quite aware of the benefits of turmeric.

The rhizome of the turmeric is first boiled, then dried and ground into an orange powder – which is the most common form of turmeric available.

Mainly used as a culinary spice in South Asian and Middle-Eastern cuisines, there are many other benefits of turmeric when it comes to food. Turmeric holds its significance since the Medieval period where it was used as a substitute of expensive Indian saffron. Turmeric imparts rich yellow color to food stuff. To give boiled rice a golden color, rice is heated with turmeric in South Africa. E-100 is what its called when turmeric is used as a food additive. The pigment in turmeric is curcumic. Turmeric is an important ingredient in curry powder. Pickles are also made out of turmeric. Momos (dumplings) a hot-favorite in the Chinese and Nepalese cuisine is also spiced with turmeric. Turmeric gives flavor to numerous recipes. It is used to make a special sweet in Karnataka.

Turmeric possesses a lot of nutritional value – 6.3g protein, 3.5g minerals, 6.94g carbohydrates, 2.6g fibre, 349 kcal.

When it comes to Ayurveda, turmeric plays a dominant role there too. It is applied as an antiseptic for cuts, burns, and bruises. It can also be used as an antibacterial. Researches have revealed that in some particular cases turmeric can be taken as a dietary supplement.

There are numerous benefits of turmeric when it comes to the medicinal arena. It has the ability to cure stomach aches, skin problems, gastro-intestinal problems. Medicinal experiments depict that turmeric can show possible benefits in Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis, childhood leukaemia.

Turmeric is nature’s most powerful healer since 2500 years. When combined with cauliflower it prevents prostrate cancer and prevents advancing of breast cancer. It helps in weight management, and for this reason is consumed as a tea in Japan. It is a natural liver detoxifier, a natural pain-killer and has shown considerable results in reducing the side-effects of a chemo drug – Paclitayel.

Where health is considered an asset for a nation, turmeric comes with immense medicinal value to help man. It can be taken either in powder or in pill form. The most recently found out advantage of the turmeric is that it enhances brain derived neutrophic (BDN) factor, which supports nerve growth.

Beauty – the feminine world considers it an asset and is constantly striving to enhance it and maintain it. When it comes to beauty care and cosmetics turmeric is no less in that field too. Juice of raw turmeric enhances glow of skin. It reduces the growth of body hair, and gives a soft, fair, smooth skin texture. It reduces spots, blotches and pigmentation. It acts as a natural sunscreen, as it contains THC (tetrahydrocurocuminoids) – which is a powerful antioxidant.

It has a lot of traditional value too – a Bengali marriage is incomplete without the ritual of ‘gaye holud’ – where the bride and the groom are bathed with turmeric paste and water. For Pongal turmeric is used as a decorative purpose. In the south the poor families use dried turmeric tied in a string as the ‘thali’ necklace for their marriage.

Turmeric is a poor fabric dye used in coloring mainly Indian saris. It helps deter ants, it helps keep crocodiles and snakes away. It can be used as an effective medication at times of snake-bites. It is used for Chemical Acid Alkali tests and Boric Acid test. In fact, turmeric is even used to plug radiator leaks in water-cooled radiators. Turmeric Benefits are innumerable!!!

Best Dog Foods – What Dogs Ate Before They Were Domesticated

What dogs eat today is far different to what they ate before domestication. While dog food today has nutrients that an animal requires and your pet may scarf it down hungrily, a wild dog would probably turn its nose up at it. For one thing, a wild dog hunted for food on its own, in packs, and in ways that are the same as how a wolf hunts.

For wild dogs it was meals on the run, with most of the day spent searching for their next meal. They were not as fat as dogs of today, and their lean muscular bodies were built for speed and stamina.

Wild dogs ate pretty much whatever they could, small animals and even larger ones like buffalo, elk and deer, which they would take down as a pack. The first things they would eat would be the organs – heart, liver, kidneys, and intestines, which would have the most nutrients. The intestines also contained grains and things that were also essential to a wild dog’s diet. Next would be the bones, muscles and fats which contained other valuable nutrients such as carbohydrates, minerals, vitamins and enzymes to help in their health.

The best dog foods available for wild dogs did not only consist of meat they also included vegetable matter like grasses, roots, and even berries. This was important for their organs and digestive tracts.

While dogs of today don’t have all the stresses that wild dogs faced, a lot of what they eat still doesn’t have the nutritional value that they need for long healthy lives. If you have a dog, then you should still give them certain things to keep them healthy. Giving them raw bones to chew on can actually help them greatly, not only to keep their teeth strong, but so they can get the necessary mineral in bone marrow to help them have strong bones and teeth.

There are all different kinds of websites available that are chock full of information on what are the best dog foods you should feed your dog. There is even a diet called BARF, which is an acronym for Bones And Raw Food, which is a diet developed and created by veterinary surgeon Dr. Ian Billinghurst from Australia. He has some good ideas about food for dogs and it may be a good idea to check him out. It is important that we as pet owners do whatever it takes to not only keep our dogs happy, but healthy as well. This not only means proper diet and nutritional needs, but also a regular exercise routine.

So as you can see, even though your dog has been domesticated, he/she still needs to have the best dog foods available and regular exercise to keep him/her in optimal health and live a long and happy life with you.

How Ginger Fights Body Odor

You may have been told that ginger is one of the foods that you should avoid if you want to fight body odor. But this could not be further from the truth, as ginger, along with other healthy foods can help you to fight body odor once and for all.

Ginger is a spicy root that originated in Asia, but due to its health benefits, and other culinary uses, it is cultivated in many warmer areas of the globe. Fresh ginger is available year round in the produce section of most grocery stores.

What Causes Body Odor

In order for you to understand how ginger can help you to fight body odor, you need to understand what causes it in the first place. Body odor is attributed to sweating, but sweat alone can not cause you to smell funny. The reason a foul odor occurs when you sweat is because sweat brings the toxins in your body to the surface of your skin, and therefore it is the toxins that cause the odor, and not the sweat.

How Ginger Helps

Ginger is high in antioxidants which help the body to release toxins so that they can be eliminated. Then to help the body to eliminate these toxins, ginger helps your body to break into a sweat, so that the toxins can be eliminated through your skin. Therefore if you are toxic, and you eat ginger, you will see an increase in your body odor temporarily.

Thus if you are going out for the evening, and need to smell your best, then you are better off not eating ginger that day.

However, if you continue to consume ginger and avoid other toxic foods such as fast foods, processed foods, foods high in fat and sugar, then you will begin to see a decline in your odor. You will notice a slight increase of body odor every time you consume ginger, until your body has been freed from the toxins.

How to Use Ginger

One way to use ginger is to simply add it to your diet. You can make ginger tea, add ginger to salads and salad dressing, stir-fries and just about any dish that you can think of.

You can also use grated ginger in your bath water to promote sweating and speed up the detoxifying process. After the bath or shower, take some fresh ginger juice and apply it to your underarms to help neutralize toxins.

5 Powerful Juice Recipes for Arthritis Sufferers

Juicing can be a powerful way to combat the inflammation and pain caused by arthritic conditions. A variety of delicious juice recipes are available to help you manage your arthritis pain.

Arthritis is a painful, inflammatory condition of the joints that afflicts men and women of all ages. It involves the breakdown of cartilage, which normally acts as a cushion for your joints. In the absence of cushioning cartilage, bones rub together in a way they were not intended to, which can cause pain.

There are as many as one hundred types of arthritis, ranging from autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis to the more common osteoarthritis which affects most people as they age. Some forms of arthritis can even affect children. Most arthritis is associated with stiff joints that may also be swollen, creaky, and painful.

Joints affected by arthritis may have limited movement and in severe cases may become deformed in appearance. In rheumatoid arthritis joints may be red and warm to the touch and are typically equally affected on both sides of the body. All forms of arthritis can range from very mild to quite debilitating.

Many plants contain powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can help dramatically reduce symptoms. The standard “Western” diet, which includes a lot of pro-inflammatory foods such as red meat, dairy, refined and processed grains, and refined sugar, is believed to promote conditions such as arthritis. A diet built around fruits and vegetables helps to prevent chronic disease, including certain arthritic conditions.

Fruits and vegetables believed to be effective for those with arthritis pain include:

  • ginger
  • pineapple
  • papaya
  • blueberries
  • grapefruit
  • spinach
  • grapes
  • plums
  • collard greens
  • kale
  • pears
  • bok choy
  • sour cherries
  • pomegranate
  • cauliflower
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • onions
  • apples
  • carrots
  • beets
  • garlic
  • lettuce

Juicing concentrates the healthful compounds in these plants, allowing you to benefit from them more effectively than by eating small amounts of the whole fruit or vegetable. By harnessing the powerful antioxidants and enzymes of raw fruits and vegetables, using these juice recipes for arthritis may increase your joint mobility and comfort and reduce swelling.

You can also increase the anti-inflammatory effectiveness of your juice recipe by mixing it with green tea, raw cold-pressed flax seed oil or liquid fish oil. These all have additional properties that make them healthful elements in an anti-inflammatory diet.

Green tea contains epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) which has been shown to be helpful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Flax and fish oils contain omega 3 fatty acids which are useful for a variety of conditions including various forms of arthritis. These can also be mixed with fresh juices.

The following juice recipes for arthritis can all be easily made using most electric juicers.

Pineapple, Carrot & Celery Juice

5 carrots

2 stalks of celery

4 oz pineapple

1 tsp lemon juice

Papaya Orange Juice

¼ papaya, peeled

1 large orange, peeled

Papaya Blueberry Juice

2 cups blueberries

¼ papaya, peeled

Broccoli Carrot Juice

1/2 cup fresh broccoli, cut in pieces

3 medium carrots, roots only

1 apple, core removed

1/2 lemon, peeled

Sour Cherry-Pomegranate Juice

2 cups sour cherries

1 pomegranate, skin removed

1 apples, core removed

For each recipe, simply juice the listed ingredients in an electric juicer.

You can find other juicing remedies for arthritis on the internet or in books about juicing. However, many of the most successful recipes come from experimentation, so don’t be afraid to use the list of fruits and vegetables above to come up with ideas for new juice combinations. You just might invent a juice that tastes fantastic while providing great relief for your achy, stiff joints!

Meals to Avoid If You Don’t Wish To Have Gout

Today, there are a number of diet programs publicized in publications and online, it’s difficult to choose. Right here we’re not going to take a look at foods to eat but foods to avoid whilst suffering from gout.

A logical option to understand which diet is finest is to see which one matches your personal decisions for your way of life and pure (we emphasize the word, “natural” not synthetic) tastes.

All of us possess personal likes and dislikes…lots of which derives from our childhood and defines us throughout all our lives.

At present the business world, and international food and beverage enterprise is about as chargeable for the obesity problem as the tobacco company’s are for lung cancer. When you are on a food regimen, or if you want to be your ideally suited weight and wellbeing, you need to avoid the general choices below.

Any “synthetic” food. ANY…this implies meals that has been treated in a automated way. These meals include components and chemicals that interrupts your normal means of digestion and expulsion. In this group, you may think of any meals from a tin, or one that can stay on a supermarket shelf more than one month.

Any and all fast foods. These are perhaps the worst offenders, as they are by some means taste great when you’re hungry, you will wolf them shortly, they usually contain all of the substances you don’t need or what your body desires; such as transfats, incorrect food combinations (overly sweet cola drinks with too much protein and carbohydrates), and an extra amount of calories. What’s more, they typically serve red meat like beef or bacon that can prolong your gout or cause serious tenderness.

To top it off, a regular fast food meal is about 1,000 or more calories. It’s usually more, and leaves you wanting for more in about 2 hours.

Any “deep-fried” foods. This features the well-known french fries, but may consist of fried red meats (akin to fried bacon), and some snacks, such as donuts. These kill your food plan and raise your insulin ranges within the blood, and there’s no technique to make you control your uric acid production apart from your diet plan.

All polysaturated and animal fat. We do not say to you to eliminate fat, just consume from the right source. These are found in fish, some vegetables and a few dairy merchandise (where omega-three oils have been incorporated to the dairy animal’s feed).

White Flour. There is nothing in it that is good for you. All it consists of is processed flour that is made from yeast, another high purine product that will cause gout.. Whole wheat or different whole grains are one other story. Eat them as you want, however NO white flour. It is a useless food itself, and solely causes unbalances in your digestive system. White flour was produced because it doesn’t spoil, where entire grains do. Even bacteria can distinguish among excellent food and bad food. They eat the entire grain and not bleached synthetic white flour.

White Sugar. As its carbohydrate cousin above, white sugar additionally has very little or no dietary value.

There are so many healthy options to it, and though sweet, these pure sugars are simply processed in your system as they’re natural as you are natural.

Mayonnaise and its other forms. Although very tasty, when mixed with additional kinds of chow, mayonnaise is heavily refined, usually with the worse oils, largely transfatty ones, and stuffed with preservatives.

Also mayonnaise is made out of eggs, and commercially handled to resist the aging process on the supermarket shelf. It is not going to aid you in your food regimen, and in fact, it’s not good for you at all. Should you make it your self however, and eat it sparingly, that’s another matter.

Caffeinated Drinks. This consists of coffee, darkish tea, the cola drinks, chocolate, and the brand new power drinks which can be showing up in nightclubs, supermarkets and gyms.

The caffeine (or related chemical found in tea and chocolate) interrupts your natural metabolism, and will prevent your bodies normal slimming process when you’re dieting.

There are a lot of different foods to each avoid and enjoy, however the list above is usually established by a good number of dietitians as terrible for your general health and gout.

When you find yourself NOT dieting, you possibly can certainly eat these foods, however it’s advised to do so sparingly, after all, why would you want another gout attack?.

Eczema Diet – Seven Chinese Food Secrets That Will Change Your Life

Eczema can make life a misery for children as well as adults with red, dry, thick and scaly skin that is constantly itching. For many people, eczema is triggered off by an allergic reaction to specific foods and avoiding these foods can relieve the symptoms. Chinese dietary therapy is a holistic system of treatment, part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which looks at diet in a completely different way from our western diets. Here I will give you my Seven Chinese Foods secrets that will help your eczema and change your life.

1. Avoid cow’s milk

Often eczema can be triggered off by cow’s milk which is a common food fed to children. Cow’s milk is very damp in nature and if your child’s digestive system is compromised can cause itchy skin, rashes and oozing and weeping lesions. Milk is not a common ingredient in a Chinese diet and is used sparingly. However, in the West we tend to over consume milk which is why more and more people are experiencing an allergic reaction to it. If your baby is suffering with eczema then you really should look for an alternative. Possible replacements are soy or goat’s milk which are less damp forming.

2. Avoid damp forming foods

Not only is cow’s milk damp forming, but other foods can be extremely damp forming as well. Interestingly, some of these foods are common triggers for eczema such as wheat and peanuts. Other damp forming foods include orange juice, bananas, sugar, cheese and other dairy products.

3. Stop the greasy food

Fried, greasy foods are extremely damp forming and warm in nature. Eczema is Yang (warm) in nature which means that if there is an excess of heat in the body it will cause symptoms such as redness, inflammation and thirst. Cooking methods such as roasting, grilling, baking, deep frying, stir frying and sautéing are all yang cooking methods. It’s preferable to boil, simmer, stew, braise or steam your food as these cooking methods are more yin in nature. Foods cooked in this way are cooler in nature and more nourishing to the body and skin.

4. Eat more cooling and nourishing foods

To treat eczema, you need to reduce redness, inflammation and itching of the skin by clearing heat. As well you should moisten dryness and strengthen the qi (vital energy) and blood. Cooling and moistening foods include grapefruit, lettuce, seaweed, watermelon, cucumber, celery, barley, beancurd (tofu), pears, strawberry, broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini and tomatoes.

Excellent foods to strengthen qi and blood are dark, leafy green vegetables, dark red fruits and vegetables such as beetroot, kidney, aduki beans and blueberries. Meats such as liver, kidneys and chicken are all qi and blood strengtheners. A fantastic start to the day would be to have a bowl of oat porridge sprinkled with a few dates.

5. Avoid raw and ice cold foods

Too many raw and chilled foods (as opposed to cooling foods) can damage the digestive system. The digestive system requires warmth or digestive fire to function and a prolonged and excessive use of raw or ice-cold foods will eventually weaken this digestive fire. You may have noticed that the Chinese do not eat many raw or ice-cold foods for this reason.

6. Balance your flavors

We have often heard that too much of one thing is bad for you and this is true in a Chinese diet. In most Chinese recipes you will find a balance of flavors – salty, sour, bitter, sweet and pungent. For example, salty foods (seaweed, pork, fish) regulate moisture balance, drain excess moisture and stimulate digestion. Too much salt, however, will dehydrate the body and cause dryness. Sweet foods (sugar, bananas, milk), mildly stimulate the circulation of qi and blood, moistening and benefiting dryness. However, eating an excess of sweet foods will lead to the formation of damp and heat which can cause eczema. Therefore, a balanced diet including all the flavors is beneficial. You can increase or decrease a particular flavor according to your needs.

7. Chew slowly and enjoy your food

Quite often eczema is caused by emotional stress. When we are stressed we tend overeat, under-eat or not enjoy what we are eating. Do not eat when angry because this affects the movement of qi and can cause it to stagnate. Qi stagnation over time can cause a build up of heat which can manifest as skin rashes and inflammation.

The Chinese know the benefit of chewing slowly and with concentration, so forget the television or reading while you’re eating – just focus on your food. Every mouthful should be chewed thoroughly since this helps our digestive system to work more efficiently.

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qi s: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season eg summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (eg crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat , barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm): beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam , octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white , pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool): apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo , banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes , olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion , garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro , mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea , honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a "yin" body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin -yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A Yin; Get soar throat easily and have a quick temper? A Yang. Seasonal and geographic variations will also affect our preference on yin and yang foods.

The Advice

  • When cooking yin food (applies to most veggies), add yang ingredients such as garlic, spring onion, ginger and coriander.
  • Eat seasonal food: let the nature guide us how to eat.
  • Balanced diet: if we eat a wide variety of food, the yin and yang will balance out.