Chestnut for Kidney Health

By Vicky Chan of NourishU

According to TCM, winter is the season for promoting kidney health. Kidneys have astringent and active storage functions which help in preserving energy. In winter, our body is also designed to better absorb rich and nutritional foods to stay warm and healthy. For people who have a cold constitution with cold hands and feet, weak kidney health with frequent urination, cold and stiff body and constant pain in their lower back and ankles, winter is the best time to correct these health problems as it is when the body is most responsive to nutritional treatment. Winter food should be eaten with less salt to reduce work burden on the kidneys. Elderly people in particular should take winter/kidney tonics which can greatly improve their body constitution and promote better resistance to illness.

Winter/kidney tonics include superior warming herbs, fatty and meaty foods. Warming herbs such as dang shen, ginseng, astragalus, reishi mushroom, longan fruit and deer horn are most popular for promoting yang energy. Warming foods include chive, chicken, mutton, shrimp, ginger, garlic, walnut, mushroom, chestnut, mustard, vinegar, wine, gingko, red pepper and spring onion.

Chestnut for Kidney Health : Chinese Medicine Living

Chestnut is plentiful in winter and is best for making hearty soups and stews. Chestnut is warm in nature, sweet in taste and acts on the spleen, stomach and kidney. The following is my favourite winter recipe with chestnut which is very delicious but needs some work for preparing the chestnuts. It is well worth the effort!

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Pork Ribs, Shiitake Mushroom
and Chestnut Stew

Therapeutic Effects

  • Strengthens spleen
  • tonifies kidney
  • strengthens tendons
  • promotes blood circulation and stops bleeding
  • cures asthma, cough, back pain and diarrhea
  • promotes weight loss
  • protects the heart
  • lowers blood pressure and cholesterol
  • combats cancer

 

Chestnut for Liver : Chinese Medicine Living

Ingredients

(3 to 4 servings)

  • Chestnuts – about 20
  • Pork ribs or chicken pieces – about 400gm
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms – 6 to 8
  • Carrot – one
  • Minced ginger – 2 spoonfuls
  • Minced garlic – 2 spoonfuls
  • Spring Onion – 3 pieces
  • Dark soy sauce – 3 spoonfuls
  • Light soy sauce – 3 spoonfuls
  • Sugar – 2 spoonfuls
  • Sesame oil – one spoonful
  • Cooking oil – about 3 spoonfuls
  • Cooking wine – 2 spoonfuls
  • Potato starch – one spoonful

Directions

  1. Prepare chestnuts ahead of time by cutting a few crosses on the outer shell by using scissors. Then put chestnuts in a toaster oven (a few at a time) to bake on medium heat for about 10 minutes. Use a small knife to remove the shell and membrane together while still hot (please wear gloves!). The alternative method is to remove the hard shell first with a small knife, then put chestnuts with membrane in boiling water to cook for about 8 minutes. Strain and remove membrane while warm.
  2. Soak mushrooms for 30 minutes or until soft, rinse and slice into halves. Peel carrot and cut into pieces.
  3. Wash ribs/chicken pieces. Put them in boiling water to cook for a few minutes to remove foam and fat. Retrieve, rinse and strain.
  4. Warm one spoonful of oil in a skillet. Put chestnuts in, stir to brown for a few minutes (so chestnuts will not be so easily disintegrated when cooked), remove and put aside.
  5. Add one spoonful of oil to the skillet, put in half of the ginger and garlic to stir briefly and put in the mushrooms. Stir, add one spoonful of sugar to mix well and follow by one spoonful of cooking wine and half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes and put aside.
  6. Add one spoonful of oil to the skillet, put in remaining ginger and garlic and ribs/chicken to stir for a couple of minutes. Add in remaining sugar, cooking wine and stir for a couple of minutes more and then add mushrooms, carrot and enough water just to cover everything. Add soy sauce, bring to a slow boil, cover with lid and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add chestnuts and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes to just a little sauce is left. Add water if necessary.
  7. When the meat and chestnuts are cooked to the desired softness, add salt to taste if necessary. Wash and cut spring onion into sections and add to the cooking. Mix potato starch with 2 spoonfuls of water and sesame oil, add to the cooking and cook for another minute and serve.

 

Chestnut Recipe for Kidney : Chinese Medicine Living

USAGE

Serve with rice. No restrictions.

Chestnut for kidney health

* Featured image from paleohacks.com

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Spring Recipe for Nourishing Liver

By Vicky Chan of Nourish U

The arrival of spring brings a new season of growth to all living things on earth. That is why Chinese medicine identifies spring as wood. According to the TCM five-element theory, wood represents our liver and gallbladder system. What this means is that spring is the season when the liver energy is most intense; therefore it is the best time to address and promote liver health.

The liver is the only organ in our body which is responsible for removing poisons and toxins from our blood, making bile to support digestion and making new blood and protein to support growth.

Diet has an immediate impact on liver health. Overeating, especially rich and greasy foods can make the liver system sluggish and can slow down liver functions. Too much alcohol can damage liver cells and can cause hardening of the liver and cancer. Besides food, exercise and emotions can also affect liver health. Too much sorrow is known to suppress liver energy and cause a system failure. Unhealthy lifestyle such as not sleeping at night can interfere with the liver detoxification and blood building cycles. Therefore, a healthy diet and lifestyle and the right state of mind and balanced emotions are the keys to good health.

Spring cleaning is not only necessary for our homes and gardens, but it is also necessary for our bodies, especially the liver to clean out toxins after a winter season of heavy foods and indulgences. A cleansing diet with emphasis on fresh fruits and vegetables is most appropriate. Adding a bit more sour taste to our foods and drinks such as lemon and vinegar can produce effective contracting, astringent and cleansing effects.

After cleansing the liver, nourishing it is also very important. There are many foods and herbs which are excellent for promoting liver health such as asparagus, dandelion, goji-berries, bean sprout and chives. Liver meats are best for promoting liver health. One common misconception about liver or organ meat is that they are full of toxins and cholesterol and therefore is not good for health. In fact, liver meat has an exceptionally high content of quality protein, vitamin A, B vitamins and in particular B12, folic acid, minerals such as copper, zinc, chromium, copper and CoQ10. The by-products of liver detoxification cannot be stored in liver cells because there is no room for them. The World Health Organization has just recently included pork liver as one of the most healthy foods to eat.

Please refer to our website to see more foods and herbs suggestions and recipes for promoting liver health for spring. Here is a recipe using pork or chicken liver to nourish our liver. It is very easy to make, delicious and suitable for the whole family.

IMG_3080

Stir-fry Liver with Chives and Goji-berries

THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS

Nourishes liver, promotes good eyesight and increases yang energy.

INGREDIENTS: (2 to 3 servings)

  • Chicken or pork liver – 250gm
  • Chinese chives – one bunch (about 300gm)
  • Astragalus (huang qi) 黃耆 - 30 gm
  • Goji-berry / Chinese Wolfberry (gou ji zi) 枸杞子 - 20 gm
  • Minced or grated ginger – two tablespoons
  • Soy sauce – one teaspoon
  • Potato starch – one teaspoon
  • Cooking wine – 2 tablespoons

IMG_3082

DIRECTIONS

1. Rinse astragalus, cut into short sections and put with 2.5 cups of water in a pot and
let it soak for 30 minutes. Then bring water to a boil and lower heat to medium-low and
cook for 30 minutes to yield 1/3 cup of tea. Discard astragalus and put tea aside.

2. Rinse chives a few times, strain and cut into bite-size sections.

3. Wash liver with salt, rinse, cut liver into thin slices and season with soy sauce, half
portions of ginger and wine, and lastly mix in starch.

4. Soak goji-berries for 10 to 15 minutes with water and rinse a few times. Soak goji-
berries with half of the astragalus tea.

5. Warm one tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add the remaining ginger and stir. Add chive
and stir for 2 minutes. Sprinkle in a pinch of salt. Add the rest of the astragalus tea and
cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and put chives aside on a plate.

6. Warm another spoon of oil in the pan and add liver. Let liver cook for one minute
each on both sides. Add in goji-berries with tea and cook for 2 more minutes or to liver
is just done. Put chives back into the cooking and mix. Put everything onto a plate and serve.

USAGE

No restrictions



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