“In men, the risk of heart disease increases after age 45. In women, the risk increases after age 55. In people who have diabetes, the risk of heart disease increases after age 40.” * US Department of Health and Human Services
You don’t have to have insulin intolerance or diabetes to put your heart at risk. The more refined sugar we eat over the age of 40 the more likely we are to develop heart disease, high blood pressure, and a greater risk of stroke.
The spleen/pancreas is responsible for insulin production that enables the absorption of glucose sugars into the cells of the body. Too much sugar means either the spleen cannot produce enough insulin (diabetes type 1) or the body becomes insulin resistant (diabetes type 2) Glucose that is unprocessed by insulin remains in the bloodstream damaging arteries causing high blood pressure and heart disease.
For example, the heart likes bitter flavour foods such as lettuce, chicory, and herbs such as basil, thyme, and oregano. Whereas the liver likes sour foods such as lemons and limes.
The flavour for a healthy spleen/pancreas is sweet, however, too much of a good thing can weaken these organs.
The 5element system of Chinese Medicine would recommend eating whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa and starchy vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips which have a naturally sweet flavour, to keep the spleen and sugar levels healthy.
These foods are complex carbohydrates that take time to release their sugars rather than refined carbohydrates such as white bread, cake, pastries and pasta that give quick sugar hits but are missing the fibre and minerals of whole-grains. Healthy food doesn’t have to mean boring food, find recipes that are full of delicious, sexy scrumptiousness – if you consciously love your food, you love yourself.
One tip from Chinese Medicine is to CHEW CHEW CHEW your food.
- In this way sugars are released into the mouth, broken down by the teeth and saliva, sending signals to the brain that this is sweet, tasty, comforting food.
- So chew your food and improve digestion. Reduce the cravings for sugars by not eating your food on the run. Slow it down and taste every mouthful.
- Often we use refined carbohydrates and sugary foods such as chocolate, chips, cake and biscuits to soothe a frazzled system. They are comfort foods giving us a quick hit of love and self-care, but in the long term using food to meet and emotional needs is unhealthy.
- A chocolate bar can never really love us. If we find healthy alternatives to refined sweet foods such as sweet potato falafel, millet muffins, or Pear & Cinnamon tea, that taste really good we are more likely to make a change to a nourishing, wholesome, healthy life. This is especially important as we progress through life and our bodies repair and regeneration take a little longer.
- So be sugar smart, keep your blood sugars healthy, blood pressure down, and your heart pumping strongly.
IN THE EVER-EVOLVING PURSUIT OF LIVING LONGER AND HEALTHIER, we know diet plays a pivotal role. In recent years, scientists have also focused on the potential of intermittent fasting — a diet that hinges on when you eat, not what you eat.
- Beginning January 2023 running until the end of February 2023 – why not try Intermittent Fasting Chinese Medicine style together with all the members of Chi Flow with Jo. If you have found dieting difficult in the past, why not try this easy to follow method, with the amazing support of the group. At only €2 per day you have nothing to loose apart from your waistline.
Why not sign up for the Intermittent Fasting over 40 mini ebook and receive a Free Qi Gong Class at the end of the month
Fasting 40's ebook