Warm, cooked food is healing and soothing for digestion. Eating warm foods eases strain on the system and over time optimizes absorption of crucial nutrients.
Well understood in Asia, this most basic theory of digestion explains that everything you eat must be heated up in your stomach to a 100 degree soup.
Congee is a medicinal porridge based on this centuries-old wisdom. Well cooked and very hydrating, congee is an excellent base for including other healthy foods because it makes them easier to digest and absorb.
Our understanding of food is often quite cultural. One of my favorite concepts from Asian nutritional wisdom is that all foods have a unique "nature."
The essence of each food is not altered by heating or chilling. The warming or cooling affect on the body occurs regardless of how hot or cold the food is when you eat it.
Cucumbers, for example, are cooling even when eaten in hot soup and can be refreshingly cool in summer.
Ginger is warming even if eaten as ice cream. Spices warm up each bite in your stomach. Spices such as nutmeg magnify the warming, digestion-promoting congee effect.
The nature of a food is it's essence. Cool as a cucumber. Ginger is warming even when eaten cold.
"Its easy to prepare, easy to digest, and it tastes so good!" - Erin
“I loved that the recipe is all there ready to go, and the combos are great!” Dave Sagafi
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Karen Taylor, L.Ac. addresses members of a
Parkinson's support group to discuss
the benefits of eating congee.
I love how easy it is to eat congee, but now I know just how important that can be for people who experience swallowing challenges.
The Breakfast Cure is still very young, with only a little over six months from inception. Every month has been incredible and I am learning so much. This month has been no exception.
Last week I was honored to speak at an Alternative Parkinson's Support Group, and it was a blast! What a truly inspiring group of individuals.
The Breakfast Cure hosted the first ever congee tasting and it was a party right down to the last bite.
Congee - perfect food for difficulty swallowing. The Breakfast Cure tasting party at a Parkinson's support group.
I have long been aware of the many digestive benefits of congee such as eliminating constipation and improving nutrient absorption, but I was thrilled to discover that ease of swallowing is also high on the list.
Difficulty swallowing is associated with Parkinson's Disease as well as with Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, post stroke and brain and spinal cord injuries.
Choking and aspirating air into the lungs during meals can have serious consequences. Difficulty swallowing can occur at any stage of Parkinson's disease.
According The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research, "The leading cause of death in Parkinson's is aspiration pneumonia due to swallowing disorders."
One congee convert said it "was the perfect solution for ease of swallowing, pleasant taste, and adding food and nutrition at breakfast. Have used it just about every morning."
I'm celebrating the love of congee for a whole new reason that really matters; it is a solution helping people who mean so much to me.