Falling sick more often than not? You could have a weak immune system, which could be the result of insufficient rest, an inappropriate diet or even psychological stress.
Boosting Your Immunity, with the Help of TCM
According to TCM, immunity is also very much influenced by the equilibrium and harmony between our body’s organs. Having strong lungs, spleen, and kidney organ systems contributes to strong “vital qi” (正气). With good “vital qi”, your body is less susceptible to external viruses which cause you to fall sick. Here are some superfoods and recipes to include in your diet and eat your way to better health!
Broccoli contains vitamins A, C and E, as well as minerals that will help to boost your immune system.
2. Astragalus Root
With anti-inflammatory properties, astragalus root stimulates immune system cells and enhances immunity by strengthening the lungs and spleen.
3. Chinese Yam
Chinese Yam is not only a famous dessert for Chinese dinners — it can also be used to boost your immunity, by strengthening your spleen, lungs and kidneys.
Try these immunity-boosting recipes!
Recipe 1: Huang Qi Bai Zhu Porridge
Ingredients:• Astragalus Root (Huang Qi 黄芪) 10g
• White Atractylodes Rhizome (Bai Zhu 白术) 6g
• Poria 10g
• Licorice Root 3g
• Rice 50g
• Water 500ml
• Garnishing (Optional)
1. Boil Astragalus Root, White Atractylodes Rhizome, Licorice Root and Poria in 500ml boiling water for 30 minutes.
2. Remove the herbs and use the remaining liquid to cook the rice, until it has thickened to your desired consistency. Add garnishing for taste.
All four herbs, Licorice Root, Astragalus Root, White Atractylodes Rhizome and Poria boost immunity through strengthening the spleen ‘qi’. In addition, Atractylodes Rhizome and Poria also help to eliminate dampness from the body. Astragalus Root also strengthens lung ‘qi’.
Recipe 2: Honey Chinese Yam served with Mixed Fruits
Ingredients:• Chinese yam 300g
• Milk 50ml
• Mint leaf (for decoration)
1. Wash, peel and cut the Chinese yam into smaller pieces.
2. Steam the cut yam for 15 to 20 minutes.
3. After cooling for a bit, use a spoon or fork to mash the yam.
4. Add milk and continue mixing. The mixture should not be too thin. You can use an egg mixer to achieve a smoother consistency.
5. Place the mixture into a piping bag and use it to create patterns that you like. Alternatively, you can use a spoon to place the Chinese yam neatly on a plate.
6. Pour honey on top of the yam.
7. Place a mint leaf on top as decoration. You can place some colourful fruits by the side for a pop of colour.
Note: Do not handle Chinese yam with your bare hands as it may cause itchiness.
Recipes contributed by Senior Physician Qi Xiao Yan, Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic @ Tiong Bahru Plaza and Sengkang Compass One.