August 20, 2020








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Musculoskeletal pain and soreness: checklist on food to avoid
Besides prescribing Chinese medicine and using acupuncture to treat musculoskeletal pain and soreness, it is important for patients to watch their diet. As diet goes hand in hand with functional medicine to speed up the recuperation process, we should incorporate medicinal ingredients into our meals.

Do consume an appropriate amount of ingredients such as Panax Notoginseng (‘tian qi’) and white back black fungus, to improve blood circulation and resolve blood stasis. It is also good to consume food that will replenish the liver, such as wolfberry, black sesame, chestnut and walnut. To prevent the pain and soreness from worsening, avoid eating these four categories of food below:

Raw and cold foods: uncooked foods, foods served below room temperature, and foods that are cold in nature. For instance, sashimi, salad, ice-cream, chilled beverage, mangosteen, wax apple, watercress, and water spinach
Reason: Raw and cold foods have the tendency to damage the ‘yang qi’, the spleen and stomach, and deteriorate the spleen’s function to transport fluid in the body. This causes fluid stagnation, which subsequently contributes to the accumulation of dampness in the body and the formation of phlegm. Moreover, constriction caused by the cold will further lead to the constriction of the tendons and veins.

Wind-stimulating foods: prawn, crab, eel, shellfish, goose, egg, eggplant, bamboo shoot and mushroom
Reason: These foods can easily cause or aggravate all sorts of skin diseases. Individuals with sensitive skin, eczema and hives should avoid eating them.

Foods that induce phlegm and qi stagnation: glutinous rice, rice wine, fatty meat, dates, milk, mango, lychee, durian, soybean, pumpkin, sweet potato and taro
Reason: These fat and thick greasy foods cause phlegm production, affect the functions of the spleen and stomach, and stagnate the qi. It can also cause discomfort and bloating around the abdomen. Individuals with bloating problems, damp-heat body condition and eczema should avoid eating.

Sour, spicy and oily foods: pineapple, guava, plum, deep-fried foods and hotpot
Reason: Chinese medicine theorized that ‘sour injures the tendons’; excessive consumption of sour foods will cause tendons to constrict, hence causing soreness and cramps to be more severe. Eating too much spicy food on the other hand will hurt the blood and qi, whereas oily foods will hinder the functions of the spleen and stomach.

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