Now that the warm weather is upon us, everyone seems to be interested in changing up their diet and fitness routine. In Chinese medicine, dietary advice is focused on rectifying imbalances in the body. Today, we will focus on counteracting dampness in the body. If you have excess dampness in your system, you will tend to have the following traits: a feeling of heaviness of the body or head, muzzy headedness, no appetite, stuffy feeling in the chest and/or epigastrium, a sticky taste in the mouth, cloudy urine, vaginal discharges, certain types of oozing skin diseases, abdominal pain, or diarrhea. Dampness can obstruct the circulation of Qi in the abdomen and, besides affecting the intestines, it can affect the Spleen and the Liver. This causes abdominal pain and possibly diarrhea. You may also notice headaches that stem from or worsen in damp weather. You may also tend to be overweight and have greasy skin.
To battle this dampness, add the following foods to your diet: lettuce, amaranth, asparagus, wild blue green algae, white pepper, vinegar, papaya, valerian, chamomile, celery, turnip, rye, barley, adzuki Beans, alfalfa, pumpkin, Chinese cabbage, watermelon, corn, anchovy, kidney beans, button mushrooms, shrimp, chestnuts, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, chicken, and mackerel.
Be sure to avoid cold, damp foods such as dairy, tofu, and ice water.