The spleen has some important functions: it fights invading germs in the blood (the spleen contains infection-fighting white blood cells) it controls the level of blood cells (white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets) it filters the blood, and removes any old or damaged red blood cells.
To nourish the spleen and stomach, you must first know how to eat. Blood can flow steadily in the blood vessels without overflowing and is all governed by the spleen qi. If the spleen qi is weak, it may cause bleeding, such as nosebleeds, blood in the urine, continuous menstrual flow, and stomach bleeding.
Here are eight tips to maintain a healthy spleen:
1. Eat warm food
To warm the spleen and stomach, you should eat hot food. Fruits are better to eat in the afternoon because the yang energy in the afternoon can resist the coldness of fruits.
2. Eat slowly
Eat slowly and chew carefully to produce enough digestive juices.
3. Don’t overeat
It’s better not to eat too much. Don’t fill up with big meals and fast occasionally. Eat a balanced breakfast, a large lunch, and a small dinner.
4. Eat regularly
Do not wait to eat until you are very hungry. It will lead to overeating, thereby causing food accumulation, blocking qi, and causing obesity.
5. Choose food wisely
When choosing your foods, you should also balance all kinds of varieties. The preferred medicinal diet for invigorating the spleen is the yam-millet-lotus seed porridge made with yams, millet, lotus seeds, and jujubes.
6. Determine how you feel after eating
Determine how you feel after eating to determine if the food is healthy. Do you feel comfortable after eating? Can you sleep well after eating? Is there energy in your step after sleeping? Is your bowel movement smooth and consistent? If all four items are met, these foods will pass the test.
7. Rub your abdomen after eating
Taking 10 minutes to rest and gently rub your abdomen after eating can ensure that the spleen and stomach have sufficient blood supplies.
8. Zusanli and Yinlingquan points
Frequent pressing the Zusanli and Yinlingquan points also invigorates the spleen. The Zusanli point is located three inches (four finger widths) down from the bottom of the kneecap, along the tibia’s outer boundary. The Yinlingquan point is located on the inside of the lower leg, in the depression between the tibia’s lower inner edge and the tibia’s inner edge.
Translated by Joseph Wu and edited by Helen