By Dr. Natazia zu Stolberg, L.Ac, DACM
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the stomach is seen as a pot, with the fire under it being our metabolism. This digestive fire is crucial for the efficient breakdown of food, absorption of nutrients and smooth flow of Qi throughout the body. The energetic and thermal properties of foods and drinks can either support this fire or weaken it so it is vital that we pay attention if we want to optimize our digestive health.
When we consume cold water or icy smoothies, especially first thing in the morning or during/after meals, this cold temperature can dampen or put out our digestive fire. A weakened digestive fire can lead to accumulation and stagnation of food in the digestive tract resulting in bloating, cramping or prolonged feeling of fullness. Cold foods are believed to constrict and slow down the digestive organs, further exacerbating these symptoms.
If you experience bloating or sluggish digestion it is particularly important to eliminate cold water and smoothies, opting instead for room temperature water and smoothies made without ice or frozen fruit. To further support your digestion you can incorporate warming foods to help build your digestive fire back up - such as ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, lamb, sweet potato, mushrooms, and brown rice. You can also incorporate Dr. Stolberg’s REST + DIGEST tea into your daily routine, which is made of warming herbs and brewed into a hot tea, to alleviate bloating and optimize digestion. Learn more at Drstolbergstea.com
Dr. Stolbergs Digestion Friendly Smoothie
1 scoop made of vanilla protein
1 cup milk alternative of your choice
2 peaches - room temperature
Handful of raspberries - room temperature
1 tablespoon hemp seeds
*no ice, no frozen fruit