If the digestive system is unhealthy, a person will be prone to indigestion, physical fatigue, and dull skin. If the digestive system is healthy, the body will have little illness and the individual will most likely have a good life. Three foods can nourish your digestive system. Known as the “Three Treasures,” they are the Chinese yam, pumpkin, and sweet potato.
1. Chinese yam
Chinese yam can nourish the spleen and stomach, invigorate kidney qi, reduce phlegm, and moisturize the skin. People with a weak spleen or stomach are prone to physical fatigue and indigestion. Eating Chinese yam can increase physical strength; for teenagers, it can improve growth. If the spleen is healthy, the skin will become bright, so eating Chinese yam can moisturize the skin.
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Chinese yam also has the effect of lowering blood sugar. People who want to avoid high blood sugar can eat “Yam Pork Ribs Soup.” The ribs contain gelatin and calcium. The two ingredients, stewed together, are beneficial to the body. “Sishen Soup,” a well-known medicinal diet for invigorating the spleen and stomach, also contains Chinese yam. You can add more to the stew to improve the problem of high blood sugar. Also, Chinese yam can nourish the kidneys, make people energetic, concentrate on reading, and have clear ears and eyes.
Pumpkin is a good food for invigorating the stomach and digestion. It can nourish the spleen, increase one’s appetite, and relieve stomach pain. Anyone suffering from a stomachache will feel more comfortable after eating pumpkin. From a nutritional perspective, pumpkin is rich in pectin, which can protect the gastric mucosa and help to prevent gastritis and gastric ulcers.
Irregular meal times always cause people who are busy at work to have a stomachache. If it is difficult to eat three meals regularly, it is a better choice to eat pumpkin porridge or pumpkin once or twice a week to nourish the stomach.
The leaves and seeds of pumpkin are precious. Once, I met a friend in North Carolina whose garden was full of pumpkins. When it became spring and summer, the pumpkin leaves grew very lush. So he cut out some leaves, fried them, and shared them with me — they were delicious and tasty.
Pumpkin farmers are unlikely to get prostate hypertrophy, which may be related to the fact that they often eat pumpkins and pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds also contain zinc, which is beneficial to the prostate.
Sweet potatoes can nourish qi and help produce saliva, nourish the spleen, improve digestion, and relieve constipation. When the elderly can’t eat anything, it might be suitable to cook a bowl of sweet potato porridge to help nourish the spleen and stomach and strengthen physical endurance.
People who eat sweet potatoes have better elimination and sweet potatoes can help most intestinal problems. Sweet potatoes can also enable you to remove toxins and lower your blood pressure because they are rich in “resistant starch,” which is not easy to absorb and can delay the rise of blood sugar. But different people have different constitutions. If you worry, you can try a small amount to see if your blood sugar fluctuates significantly, and then decide whether to continue eating.
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Helen