Chinese medicine professionals understand your body as a complex system of energy systems, meridians, and organs. When we talk about an organ, like the spleen, heart, or kidneys, we are not referring to just the physical organ, but also include their mental, emotional, and spiritual qualities that align with nature and the seasons.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is massively important to care for your heart. Why? Well for starters, the heart governs the ability to think clearly, sleep soundly, and maintain a good memory. Our emotional state is strongly influenced by how healthy or unhealthy our heart may be. A weak and deficient heart may create feelings of anxiety or mania, while also contributing to insomnia, forgetfulness, and lack of concentration. The heart is known as the “king of all organs”. Meaning, other organs will sacrifice all to keep the heart in motion. This involves giving away their energy and nutrient supply (commonly referred to as Qi).
The sense aligned with the heart is the tongue. In my online consultations I use Chinese tongue diagnosis to assess the condition of the Heart. The tongue will be a healthy pink color when this organ is in balance. If there is insufficient blood in the Heart, the tongue may appear pale. If there is blood stagnation, the tongue may be a dark purple color. Cracks or lines down the center of the tongue can indicate a potential Heart function issue.
When it comes to your heart, what you eat greatly matters. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:
- Eat less saturated fats. Look for lean meats, like seafood, poultry, and cut back on fatty red meats and high-fat dairy products. Limit foods like pizza, burgers, and creamy sauces or gravy. Look for products with no trans fats (avoid McDonald’s like the plague) and choose foods with unsaturated fats like salmon, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils.
- Get more fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet. Fiber is a carbohydrate that your body cannot break down, so it passes through the body undigested. Fiber can help prevent heart disease from its ability to lower both blood pressure and cholesterol.
- Cut back on sweeteners. Consuming too much added sugar can raise blood pressure and increase chronic inflammation, both of which are pathological pathways to heart disease. When choosing a sweetener, look for natural options like honey, dates, maple syrup, molasses, or agave nectar.
Without a healthy heart, your body cannot function properly and your mind may be clouded and disconnected. Contact me for a consultation to see how Chinese herbs and dietary therapy can assist you with all of your heart health needs. Just click here.