Dietetics and health. Introduction by Liliana Atz

The human body is a temple
and as such it must be cared for and respected.
All the time


With the introduction given by this article, we approach a path of awareness of the importance of proper nutrition.

An approach, although basic to Chinese dietetics, while not disdaining other approaches, seems essential to us, as the knowledge of its principles, combined with foods of “short supply chain” and linked to seasonal rhythms are an important combination for the maintenance and / or recovery of health.

“Let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food” said Hippocrates, (Island of Cos 460 BC – Larissa 377 BC) the great Greek physician who first, in the West, introduced the innovative concept according to which the disease and health of a person depend on human choices, more than by superior divine responses.

And it is in the “Classic Book of Medicine of the Yellow Emperor – Huang Di Nei Jing Su Wen” (II century BC), that in Chinese culture we find the first citations and references on the need to seek, for the maintenance of psycho-physical health, a diet adequate to the needs of the moment.

Chinese dietetics, together with medical gymnastics (Tai Chi, Chi Kung), herbal medicine, manipulations (massages) and acupuncture, form the therapeutic pillars of ancient Chinese medical culture.

With medical gymnastics, manipulations and acupuncture the body’s energy is rebalanced, while with dietetics and phytotherapy it preserves and nourishes its essence. If the diet is correct, energy will be abundant, the organs will be well nourished, and the mind and emotions will be in balance.

In today’s China, the importance given to proper nutrition has seen the emergence of restaurants specialized in the preparation of “healing dishes”, made on medical prescription, in consideration of the general condition of the patient.

Great importance is given to the genuineness of the foods used, in connection with seasonal rhythms and climate change.

This nutritional vision approaches food, in fact, according to the qualitative canons that regulate the activity of the organs and viscera of the human body, using food in pharmacological terms, with the relative indications, contraindications and precautions, for the purpose of achieving and / or maintaining health.

Dietetics is based on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, which considers the human being holistically, in its entirety.

It is not a predefined diet, as it adapts to the particular conditions of each person, based on physical constitution, age, time of year, the country in which he lives, the type of work he does, the type of pathology he presents, etc …

For this purpose, foods are classified according to different criteria:

1. based on the intrinsic energy of the food, a distinction is made:
– warm and temperate foods: tone, warm, ascend, move.
– neutral foods: stabilize, harmonize, center.
– fresh and cold foods: they refresh, sedate, astringent, hydrate.

2. Based on flavour, as each flavour has a specific energy characteristic:
– Acidic foods: astringent, they contract energy inwards.
– bitter foods: draining, evacuating, firming and desiccant
– salty foods: soften, purge and calm the Shen.
– sweet foods: invigorating, harmonising and anti-spastic.

3. According to colour:
– Red foods: revitalize.
– yellow foods: stabilize, balance.
– Green foods: detoxify, purify.
– black foods: they tighten, tone the “Jing” (essence).
– white foods: they purify.

4. Based on meridian tropism, as each food has a main meridian of impact.

5. According to the movement of the energy they activate: Yin or Yang, etc…

By continuing, or learning to eat well, you can, therefore, heal both the body and the psyche, keeping the body healthy.


Herry C. Lu-Curarsi con i cibi secondo la dietetica cinese – Red Edizioni
Herry C.Lu – Chinese Foods or Longevity – Sterling

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