Warm Breakfast- A Must

Chinese Medicine, Diet



May 24, 2020

warm breakfast

When looking around the world at different cultures, it is interesting to note the vast array of breakfasts that are consumed. In Costa Rica, breakfast consists of rice, beans + colourful vegetables. Over in Egypt, the locals eat beans with oil and garlic. In Burma, its rice vermicelli in fish broth. Whilst in Pakistan, breakfast is typically spicy potato and chickpea curry. A common of theme of these breakfasts, is that they all contain vegetables and are rich in carbohydrates + proteins.

In Chinese Medicine, the health of the digestive system is linked with the stomach + spleen. From 7am-9am, it is the time of the spleen and therefore the most important time of the day to have a nourishing meal. 9am-11am is the time of the pancreas and spleen; enzymes are released to help digest food + release energy for the day ahead.The spleen prefers foods that are already at room temperature or warm, because it can get straight in to digesting the food, rather than spending precious energy trying to warm up food ready for digestion first. This makes total sense from a biomedical perspective too, seeing as cold is constricting in nature. Enzymes function properly at warm temperatures and become denatured when they are cooled down. Warmth and cooking also breaks cell walls down, making it easier to access nutrients in food. 

The healthy function of the spleen and stomach maximises absorption of food and nutrients for the production of energy. Our other organ systems rely on this energy to function effectively too. Nurturing and building the strength of the digestive system is protective for our health, such as emotional wellbeing, clear thinking, quality sleep, a strong musculoskeletal system and appropriate/effective immune function. Breakfast is the most essential meal of the day.

Warm breakfast inspiration

Soup! A gentle approach to your morning routine, that stimulates digestion. Pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower soup is a great place to start. Try adding different combinations of flavours and spices to help promote digestion, such as fresh ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, parsley, pepper, nutmeg and fresh herbs.

Warm, nourishing porridge. Try different grains, such as rice, buckwheat & whole oats. To maximise benefit and ensure nutritional value, choose whole grains. Consider making night before. Spice things up with fruit & nuts. Try stewed apples & cinnamon to improve intestinal flora.

Vegetable fritters. The options are endless. Consider trying zucchini, cauliflower, carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, celeriac, peas, or eggplant. Add herbs and spices for flavour. Use eggs and flour to bind. Leave the skin on your veggies for extra fibre and consider including toppings, such as meat, pressed nut oils, avacardo, chick peas & black beans.

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