At Michigan Acupuncture Studio we know the cherished feast of Thanksgiving is fast approaching. We thought that it would be it fitting that we delve into the delightful world of holiday foods—through the lens of both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western nutrition. So, whether you're a food enthusiast or simply seeking a deeper understanding of the delectable dishes gracing your table, join us on this journey.
Turkey: A "Fire Chicken" of Nourishment
Turkey, crowned as the "fire chicken" in China is renowned for its remarkable resilience to icy temperatures. This cold-defying attribute extends to its meat, which is considered warming in TCM. In the realm of Traditional Chinese Medicine, turkey is believed to tonify the Qi and blood, fortifying Yang energy. From a Western nutrition perspective, turkey emerges as a lean protein powerhouse, boasting low-fat content and a treasure trove of essential nutrients, including vitamin B3, B6, and B12, niacin, choline, as well as minerals such as zinc and selenium.
Note: In TCM, the attributes of warming, cooling, or neutrality in foods pertain to their impact on the body, not their actual temperature. These attributes play a pivotal role in supporting metabolism and addressing inflammation.
Yams/Sweet Potatoes: Nurturing Digestion
Yams and sweet potatoes, from a TCM standpoint, offer substantial support to the digestive system. They are inherently gentle on the stomach when baked, mashed, or boiled, although their nutritional profile may change a bit when marshmallows and sugar make their entrance.
From a Western nutrition perspective, sweet potatoes shine as a rich source of fiber, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, renowned for their antioxidant prowess. These tubers offer a blend of both insoluble and soluble fiber, a boon for gut health. The fermentation of these fibers in the colon produces short-chain fatty acids, bolstering the resilience of your intestinal lining.
Green Beans: A Digestive Dynamo
In Chinese medicine, green beans are celebrated for their digestive benefits, and their vibrant green hue ties them to liver health. On the Western nutrition front, green beans are loaded with fiber, along with vitamin C and K. They also contain trace amounts of iron, magnesium, and essential B vitamins.
Mushrooms: Nature's Health Elixir
Mushrooms are a treasure trove of health benefits. According to TCM, they facilitate digestion and assist in dispelling dampness and excess water retention. Some mushroom species have even been harnessed in Chinese medicine to promote longevity and alleviate anxiety.
From a Western nutrition perspective, mushrooms shine as sources of antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin D, copper, phosphorous, and selenium.
Cranberries: A Red Symphony for the Heart
The crimson hues of cranberries align them with the heart in Chinese medicine, while their tart and sour profile connects them to the liver. In Western nutrition, cranberries emerge as potent sources of vitamin C and a wealth of antioxidants, including polyphenols. Interestingly, research suggests that cranberries might contribute to heart health by potentially lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
At Michigan Acupuncture Studio, we celebrate the connection between food and well-being, recognizing that the choices you make at your table can play a pivotal role in your overall health. May your Thanksgiving be a harmonious blend of tradition, nourishment, and gratitude.