September 3, 2023
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Should you avoid dairy products when you are sick?
The belief that cheeses contain nutritional value and that drinking milk boosts calcium intake has become deeply ingrained in society. Some even believe that drinking more milk to enhance nutritional intake when ill is recommended. From the perspective of traditional Chinese medicine, however, these practices are incorrect.
Dairy products are excessively rich and heavy, making them difficult for a weakened body’s spleen and stomach to digest and absorb, aggravating the burdens on these organs. Milk, for example, induces phlegm production and dampness, leading to damp phlegm accumulation and affecting the functions of the spleen and stomach, resulting in symptoms such as fatigue, indigestion, loss of appetite, bloating, and excessive gastric gas. Therefore, it is inadvisable for individuals with weak spleen and stomach to consume dairy products on a daily basis, and they should also avoid these products in times of illness to prevent exacerbating the illness.
Nutritional supplementation should be done when the body is in a healthy state. When sick, a lighter diet is recommended. Consume light and mild foods that have a balanced nature in order to minimize the impact of food bias on the internal organs. Meals should be prepared using methods that maintain the original flavors and nutrients of the ingredients, often employing steaming, boiling, blanching, and simmering techniques. Apart from regular meals, you can prepare porridge using red rice, white rice, and coix seeds. With a well-functioning spleen and stomach, the body can naturally absorb nutrients from food, promoting a faster recovery.
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