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The benefits of the Chinese diet

Diets, Nutrition | September 2, 2020 | Author: Naturopath

diet

The benefits of the Chinese diet

A high-quality diet is believed to support and promote functionality in all mankind and help prevent many debilitating diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. A balanced Chinese diet aims at supporting health and longevity using foods which offer nutritional and medicinal value.

Chinese food is served in small, bite-size portions using colour and texture to delight the taste buds and reward the eye. Harmonious combinations of herbs and spices entice the nose and add to the taste palate. Meat is used in moderation whilst the main ingredient of noodles and rice compliment an abundance of health-providing vegetables.

Health benefits of the Chinese diet

Health benefits of the Chinese diet include an assortment of disease-fighting antioxidants in the form of plant-based nutrients. 

Healthy greens

Healthy greens such as broccoli, pak choy, kale, spinach, cauliflower, and cabbage are vegetables which could be described as nutritional dynamos providing vitamins, mineral, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fibre. One particular compound found in broccoli, Kaempferol, has been shown to possess anti-inflammatory activity. Inflammation is associated with most disease states.

Health benefits of the Chinese dietMany studies have shown a diet high in cruciferous vegetables may protect against the development of many types of cancers. Indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is found at high concentrations in Brassica vegetables and is an anti-carcinogenic compound.

Highly coloured vegetables such as eggplant and purple cabbage contain rich sources of antioxidants which help fight against inflammation and obesity.

Green Tea

Green Tea is produced using the leaves obtained from the Camellia sinensis plant. A major component of green tea, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) is believed to be the main compound responsible for its beneficial action. Some diseases against which green tea can offer support include:

  • Cancer
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity

Mushrooms

MushroomsMushrooms contain high quality protein, polysaccharides, unsaturated fatty acids, and minerals and offer healing and protection against many diseases. 

Areas in which they can be helpful include: 

  • immunodeficiency
  • inflammation
  • hypertension
  • hyperlipidaemia
  • hypercholesterolemia
  • obesity

Recent studies have shown a correlation with the intake of mushrooms and the regulation of gut microbiota resulting in a positive health benefit.

Soy

Intake of soy products have been linked with lower incidences of coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and breast cancer. Soy is rich in isoflavones.

Fish

Regular consumption of seafood is associated with protective effects against cardiovascular disease and improved foetal and infant development. These heath benefits are attributed to the long chain n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids n-3 PUFA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), along with seafood proteins.

Ginger

Not only does ginger add a zing to many meals, it also confers many health benefits to the consumer. These include protection against the development of cancer, improving the symptoms of menopause, osteoporosis, endometriosis, prostatic hyperplasia, polycystic ovary syndrome and Alzheimer's disease. Ginger can help with diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, cholesterol and lipid metabolism.

Garlic

Garlic offers an abundance of therapeutic benefits and has been used traditionally to treat many diseases and disorders. It offers antimicrobial activity towards a variety of antibiotic – resistant bacteria. Its many health benefits are attributed to a compound called allicin. It has a broad-spectrum effect against many fungi, offers antiviral activity towards influenza and human rhinoviruses, anti-protozoal activity against several parasites, and provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

GarlicRaw garlic extract has shown to be effective against many cancer cells without affecting non-cancerous cells.

Garlic also plays an important therapeutic role in metabolic disorders such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It can help with healthy cholesterol levels and inhibit the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins, help with weight reduction and adipose tissue mass, lower blood pressure and prevent platelet aggregation, platelet adhesion, thrombosis, and
improve blood flow (vasodilation).

Garlic offers the following actions:

  • Anti-microbial, fungicidal, anti-viral and Antiparasitic
  • Antioxidant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Balances cholesterol
  • Antidiabetic
  • Anti-obesity
  • Lowers blood pressure

Foods which don’t appear high on the Chinese diet include meat, dairy-based products, milk, butter, cheese, and cream. These foods when consumed in large amounts have been shown to have an adverse effect on health.

Diet is an important factor affecting health and longevity. Diet restriction can promote health and increase life span and, as an opposite, malnutrition and excess consumption can accelerate aging and be the cause of many geriatric diseases. The components of the diet are important in the pursuit of health and longevity. Inflammation in the body along with many diseases are associated with metabolic imbalances. A regular intake of a nutritional diet and increased fibre intake can support health and the prevention of disease.

Many components of the Chinese diet – garlic, ginger, an assortment of colourful and green vegetables, and reduced dairy and red meat intake support the body in the journey for health and vitality.

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References

Nutrient Intake Is Associated with Longevity Characterization by Metabolites and Element Profiles of Healthy Centenarians https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037549/

Health-promoting effects of green tea https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365247/

Green Tea Catechins: Their Use in Treating and Preventing Infectious Diseases https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30105263/

The beneficial effects of Brassica vegetables on human health https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23631258/

Kaempferol Is an Anti-Inflammatory Compound with Activity towards NF-κB Pathway Proteins https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25964540/

Cruciferous Vegetables, Isothiocyanates, and Bladder Cancer Prevention https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30079608/

Cruciferous vegetables and colorectal cancer prevention through microRNA regulation: A review https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28394633/

Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28698459/

Dietary Natural Products for Prevention and Treatment of Breast Cancer https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5537842/

Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28338764/

A critical review on the health promoting effects of mushrooms nutraceuticals https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213453018300478

Nutritional implications of ginger: Chemistry, biological activities and signaling pathways https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286320305180

https://www.thespruceeats.com/garlic-and-ginger-chinese-cooking-staples-695008

Chemical Constituents and Pharmacological Activities of Garlic (Allium sativum L.): A Review https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7146530/#:~:text=Garlic%20has%20been%20used%20for,preventing%20cardiovascular%20disease%20%5B17%5D.

Dietary Guidelines for Chinese Residents (2016): comments and comparisons https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5018612/

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