I am not a huge advocate of miracle foods. The practice of consuming a huge amount of select products in the name of health runs counter to my belief that the key to vitality lies in a varied diet--rich in local, seasonal, and organic ingredients which are simply prepared in one’s own kitchen. There are, however, certain foods that when added to or served with an already sound diet can augment good food’s inherent medicinal value. Sauerkraut, fermented raw cabbage, does exactly that. The condiment protects good gastrointestinal tract bacteria, boosts the immune system, reduces heart disease, hinders growth of certain cancers, and stimulates digestion. Strong digestive function is essential to health, particularly from a TCM perspective. Chi is extracted from the foods we eat and without good digestion, the essential process of transformation and transportation of food into chi is kaput.
I happen to be a sauerkraut fanatic and happily eat it sandwiched between two pieces of toasted grainy bread spread with almond butter--slightly unorthodox but divine. The refreshing tangy flavor cuts the fattiness of rich foods the salty taste means that sauerkraut energetically targets the kidneys, which can always use some loving this time of year.
Frances Boswell is a licensed acupuncturist at her practice, Qi Sera Sera Acupuncture, in New York City. She focuses on a lesser-known branch of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which identifies poor diet as a common cause of disease. Traditional Chinese Medicine understands that the importance of food goes beyond ingredients' vitamins, mineral, nutrient and caloric content—food has its own energetic and spiritual role in our health. Frances' aim is to teach this ancient wisdom, apply it to everyday cooking, and work with patients to modify their diets, in addition to acupuncture, to help them live, eat, and be well. Contact Frances here.