Foods to Build Energy and Strength (Foods that Nourish the Blood)
Signs and symptoms of blood deficiency in Chinese Medicine can include fatigue, a pale complexion, poor memory, dizziness or vertigo, blurred vision, insomnia, tremors or numbness, and even hair loss and early graying of hair.
One sign that your acupuncturist will check when blood deficiency (the body is either not making enough, or losing too much) is indicated is the color or your tongue, which will be pale rather than pink or light red.
Nourishing blood deficiency can be integral to alleviating depression in many cases, as the heart and liver are nourished by the blood, two organ systems central in the smooth flow of emotional processing.
The blood, in Chinese Medicine, also houses the Shen, or spirit – an intangible and ineffable part of ourselves that makes us who we are. When there is not enough blood, that dryness doesn’t only manifest physically, but also on emotional and spiritual levels, as indicated in the symptoms above.
Fortunately, there are many good foods you can include in your diet to help nourish blood, including:
- Black beans (particularly when cooked with kombu or any type of seaweed)
- Black strap molasses
- Chinese red dates
- Dark leafy greens (cooked or steamed)
- Goji berries
- Grapes (dark purple are best)
- Red beans
Limited amounts of meat, eggs and liver, particularly bone broth soup also help to nourish blood when there is chronic or prolonged blood deficiency. See my recent post on heart health and meat consumption for information.
However, a diet rich in the above foods will go a long way towards better health and longevity!
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