The Best Spleen Qi Deficiency Diet
All too often my patients show signs of Spleen Qi deficiency, and the best way to help them is through dietary recommendations. The best Spleen Qi deficiency diet includes warm, cooked foods as well as ingredients that are naturally warming.
The pale, puffy tongue with teeth marks and feeling weak or rolling pulses are immediate signals that a patient is experiencing Spleen Qi Deficiency. I hear how tired or even weak they feel, their worries, and the concerns they tend to over-think. There are complaints about bloating, loose stools, or constipation too.
What is Spleen Qi Deficiency?
In searching for foods that improve digestion, energy, mental clarity, and a balanced metabolism, the concept of Spleen Qi deficiency provides a useful framework. Acupuncturists introduce many people to the idea that their Spleen plays a vital role in digestion. The Spleen in Chinese medicine includes the meridians, or energy channels, as well as the organ itself.
What are the signs of Spleen Qi Deficiency?
Some of the common symptoms of Spleen Qi Deficiency include:
- Lassitude – a state of physical or mental weariness or lack of energy
- Bloating, especially after eating
- Gas, belching, flatulence
- Loose stools or constipation
- Dull or sallow complexion
- Weakness of the arms and legs
- Feeling of heaviness
- Pale or swollen tongue
- Weak or “empty” pulse
Causes of Spleen Qi Deficiency
Here are some of the main causes of Spleen Qi Deficiency:
- Mental strain or extended periods of worry or overthinking
- Chronic or long-lasting illness or disease
- Diet of exessive cold or raw foods
- Irregular eating patterns or eating on the run
Digestion Is a Fire
The Spleen, as described in the ancient texts, “loathes coldness,” and is fueled by the fire of digestion, the Spleen Yang (and Kidney Yang – more on that later). Keeping this digestive fire stoked up helps the Spleen digest the food we put into our stomach. In western medicine, this may be referred to as a “Leaky Gut” or the “Microbiome”, and you can read more about the connection here.
A healthy Spleen will properly digest food and fluids avoiding issues like bloating and water retention.
Boost Metabolism and Water Metabolism
Water metabolism is an important domain of the Spleen Qi and Yang. This ability to “transform and transport fluids” means we have the power to strengthen our own system with a diet good for our Spleen Qi. Bloating, as well as many other forms of digestive distress, can be addressed with the right food choices and cooking methods.
The Best Diet for Spleen Qi Deficiency Would Include:
1. Warm, Well-cooked Foods
Chinese medicine teaches us that food preparation is crucial for digestion. Too many raw, cold foods begin to put out the digestive fire, making it harder and harder over time to digest the foods we eat.
Conversely, the more we eat foods that are warm, well-cooked, easy to digest, and hydrating or “moist,” like soup, congee, and porridge, the easier it is for the Spleen to digest food and fluids.
2. Food with a Warm Nature
Another vital consideration is the inherent temperature or nature of every food we eat. Simply put, ginger, hot peppers, and many other more subtle foods are warming regardless of the temperature when eaten, yet cucumbers and mint are cooling in nature even when made into hot tea.
Too many foods with a cooling nature can also contribute to dampening the fire of digestion.
Combining these two temperature considerations is the best way to choose foods that will nourish any Spleen Qi deficiency.
Breakfast Cure was created to make it easier than ever to address your Spleen Qi Deficiency. Because I saw so many patients who were experiencing Spleen Qi Deficiency, I created Breakfast Cure to make it impossibly easy for them to start their day with hydrating foods that are both warm in temperature and nature. If you suspect you may have Spleen Qi Deficiency, I encourage you to try any Breakfast Cure recipe (peruse our delicious flavors here). For best results, I recommend eating Breakfast Cure at least four days a week. Your Spleen Qi will thank you!