help you to keep track of your health


10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 2)

(cont'd from Part 1)

6.  Drink more tea. Drink 3 cups of tea a day then blood pressure can go down 7%. This may be caused by the chemical reaction produced by the tea leaves extracts.

7.  Walk fast. Fast walking can help high blood pressure patients lower their pressure. The key is it has to be several times a week and last for more than 30 minutes. Once the patients adapt this cardio exercise they can increase the pace and distance a little bit.

8. Deep breaths. Qi Gong, Yoga, Tai Chi relieve pressures through deep breaths and meditation, which lower the level of renin and hence lower the blood pressure. Take deep breaths for 5 minutes every morning and evening. The key is to take a deep breath and breathe out slowly along with the stresses.

9. Decrease the workload. Working over 41 hours a week can cause the probability of high blood pressure increase 15%. Relieve the workload for the health. Make a healthy dinner or go to gym after work. These are helpful options.

10. Listen to music for relaxation. There is a research indicating that listening to relaxing music for 30 minutes along with deep breathes, blood pressure can go down for 3.2% after a week, and 4.4% after a month.


10 ways to fight against high blood pressure (Part 1)

1.  Take more foods that contain potassium. Foods such as sweet potato, orange juice, potato, banana, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, dried plums and raisins can help lower high blood pressure. Specialists suggest adults should take 2-4 grams potassium.

2. Understand the salt amount in food. Senior people are more allergic to sodium and taking even a little excess amount can cause high blood pressure. Even if it's normal people, the amount of salt shouldn't exceed 6 grams a day.

3. Eat dark chocolate. (a good news) Dark chocolate contains flavanols. Taking a few pieces a day can improve the health of heart and blood pressure.

4. Vitamin supplement. I personally don't prefer taking any dietary supplement that's not natural. However, coenzyme Q10 can lower blood pressure. Consult your doctor before taking these vitamins.

5. Drink a little wine. A lot of researches already prove that drinking appropriate amount of wine can help lower blood pressure. Of course, drinking excessively is definitely not suggested. In average, a normal healthy person can drink a can of beer or 100ml of red wine per day.

(to be cont'd)


25 foods to keep women young (part 3)

(cont'd from Part 2)

18. Soybean

Soybean is one of the plants that contains more estrogen, which is very important to women's health.

19. Yogurt

Yogurt helps digestion and effectively prevent defection of intestines, strengthen the immune system. Compared to major milk, yogurt has low fat and high calcium with vitamin B2, these are great for our body as well.

20. Coriander

Coriander contains rich iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin C etc. It also helps urination, maintain blood sugar level and prevent cancer

21. Chocolate

Chocolate has sedative function. Its taste and texture also stimulate the "happiness nerves" in the brain and makes one happy.   You may not believe it, but chocolate helps slow down the process of caries caused by de-mineralization.

22. Potato

Protects pancreas and stomach. Eating more potatoes can help relieve hot and thirst, and also constipation. Place a slice of potatoes on the bags under the eyes can help clear it.

23. Mushroom

Mushroom is definitely rich in nutrients. It helps our immune system and it's a good food to lose weight because it has very low calories. It contains a lot of fiber to prevent constipation and lower cholesterol in blood. It contains more vitamin C than most fruits and help the metabolism.

24. Egg

Egg helps improve our memory and skin tone. Egg yolk can help synthesize vitamin H.

25. Walnut

Walnut improves the health of brain. Its nutrition value is 5 times of egg and 9 times of milk. The protein of walnut contains a very important element called lysine, which is very good for the brain.


25 foods to keep women young (part 2)

(cont'd from Part 1)

9. Milk

As a lot of people know, milk contains vitamin D and calcium that keep our bone and teeth strong. One rumor I also heard about milk is that it helps soften our skin too.

10. Spring Water

Spring water is supposed to soften our skin and even whiten our skin. It also helps digestion and detoxification, increase the secretion of bile.

11. Shellfish

Shellfish that contains vitamin B12 produces healthy skin, keeps the luster of our skin and its elasticity.

12. Tomato

Tomato helps avoid formation of cancer, improve appetite and stamina. It also help whiten and brighten the skin.

13. Spinach

Spinach helps prevent anemia, improve stamina and skin, helps digestion, protect eye sights, stabilize emotions. Spinach has folate that is important to pregnant women. With enough folate during pregnancy can reduce the opportunities of leukemia and congenital heart diseases of the baby.

14. Orange

As most people know orange provides a lot of vitamin C and helps avoid formation of cancer, increase the resistance against bacteria. Orange can also clear the elements that harm our body and restrain the growth of tumor cells.

15. Malt

Malt can reduce the opportunities of colon and rectum cancers. Malt itself doesn't taste much, so we can sprinkle malt on oatmeal or yogurt.

16. Tuna

Tuna contains fatty acid that can lower blood pressure, prevent stroke, control migraine, heal and prevent eczema and relieve dry skin.

17. Strawberry

Strawberry is not only juicy and delicious, it helps improve the quality of the skin, relieve diarrhea, heal disorders of liver and urethral diseases. Strawberry can even strengthen our gums, improve our oral health and moisturize our throat.

(to be cont'd)


25 foods to keep women young (part 1)

Well, I know this title is more like gimmick, and I'm not even sure if it's correct, but since I've read that article from a Chinese medical site, why not share?

1. Carp

The meat of carp has a great variety of high quality proteins, those proteins help strength the elastic fiber of the skin. It especially helps reduce early wrinkles caused by stress and lack of sleep.

2. Broccoli

Broccoli itself contains rich antioxidant vitamin C and carotene. These kinds of vegetables with crosswise flowers are proven to be the best anti-aging and anti-cancer food by researchers.

3. Melon

Melon contains rich antioxidant vitamin C that moisturizes the collagen and elastic fiber of our skin. Always eat melon can help delay the formation of wrinkles and keep the skin smooth

4. Onion

Onion cleanses the blood, lowers cholesterol and helps anti-aging.

5. Tofu

Other than fish and shrimp, tofu is also a great sources for high quality protein. At the same time, these products of beans have a chemical called Isoflavones, which reduce the activity of estrogen. Always eat beans products can also reduce the opportunities of breast cancer.

6. Cabbage

Same as broccoli, it is also a vegetable with crosswise flowers with rich vitamin C and nice fiber.

7. Apple

I guess everyone would believe apple has a lot of vitamin C, fiber and sugar. It keeps the luster of skin. Its fiber helps the digestion as well.

8. Carrot

Carrot has rich vitamin A that helps keep the luster of hair and keeps skin fine and smooth.


Foods that keeps you warm in winter (Part 3)

(cont'd from part 2)

After lamb and beef in part 1 and some hardcore food in part 2, it's time for some veggies. There are certainly foods that can keep our body warm for vegetarians other than meats.

6. Chestnut

Chestnut contains high sugar and lipase which are good for cold resistance. Take 15 chestnuts, peel off the shell and cook porridge with rice can help generate more heat for weaker people with "cold" and "empty" kidneys or who feel weak with the back and legs.

7. Leek

Leek contains a lot of nutrients like vitamin A, B, C and calcium, potassium and iron. It tastes bittersweet but helps supplement a weak body. Chop the leeks and cook porridge with rice can generate warmth and even helps menstruation disorders. Good for people who always feel cold with sore knees and back.

8. Spice food

Garlic, ginger, green onion, carrot, walnut, jujube and some "irritating" food such as pepper and coffee can help with cold resistances as well.


Foods that keeps you warm in winter (Part 2)


(cont'd from part 1)

Ok, last time we talk about lamb, lamb milk and beef can keep us warm because the nature of these food. There are more nasty food from Chinese point of view that can keep us warm during winter. However, in western culture, these are definitely either prohibited or hard to imagine. If you can't bear with this list, jump to part 3 and we'll talk about something for vegetarian.

3. Dog meat

Yeah I know that sounds crazy. But there are certain kinds dogs in China that are fed as pig or cow or chicken - they are supposed to be food. I don't dare to try myself, but I heard it's the best meat among all in terms of taste. Of course, western culture treats dogs as pet so it's probably a gross thing to imagine. From medical point of view, dog meat can stabilize the functions of organs, produce heat especially for weak people who have back pain and cold feet. However, it's easy to get thirsty afterwards and supposed to relieve the thirst by drinking rice soup. People with mucus and a lot of "heat" inside shouldn't take it. (Actually, I don't expect anyone reading this blog would even wanna try dog meat.)

4. Rabbit meat

Another meat that sounds gross to certain people. However, rabbit meat is pretty normal even in western culture. I had tried it myself but I didn't like it as much as other. It's opposite to dog meat, more like a "cold" meat that helps with flow of the "Qi" (Chi), dilute the blood and cleanse the poisonous elements. It is a high protein and low fat meat with the least cholesterol among all meat. Best for people with high blood pressure and heart attack, and also great for middle age and seniors.

5. Skin of shrimps

Ok, this doesn't sound as "brutal" as the above two - when I think about it, all meats are the same unless you're a vegetarian. Anyway, skin of shrimps usually can be eaten as dried shrimps. They're very normal in Chinese cuisine and used pretty frequently. They help the function of kidneys and heal the coldness caused by weak kidneys.

(to be cont'd)


Foods that keeps you warm in winter (Part 1)


In Chinese culture, other than dressing up with more clothing and eat something hot, eating particular food to help ourselves produce more eat is another way to keep ourselves warm in winter. In Western culture, it's about calories. In Chinese medicine point of view, there are more than calories to heat up our bodies.

1. lamb meat and milk

Lamb meat has high protein but relatively low cholesterol and high calories. It helps with the heat and the "Qi" (or Chi) flow in our body. It's a good meat that even weak body can enjoy.(like ladies right after pregnancy or people who always feel cold.)

Lamb milk is not easy to find, but it's also a great food for winter and it's easier to absorb than other milk. It moisturize our body and keep us warm as well.

2. beef

Beef is another meat that helps the flow of blood and Qi (Chi) which transports energy and heat around the body. It's helps strengthen the kidneys, pancreas and stomach as well. It's also a great food for weak people who always feel cold.

(to be cont'd)


Fruits for curing Insomnia

Recently I met a friend who dreams a lot - literally - which means she never really sleep very well. Somehow I read a Chinese article about eating certain fruits can improve insomnia. Here I'd like to share it in English. I have no idea if these will work. But after all, they're just FRUITS. It's no harm no matter what.

Most people have to take pills for better sleep. Of course, in this blog we try to recommend every healing methods, not necessary Chinese, that are more natural or at least more "organic". There are some specialists recommending certain fruits that helps sleep.


1. Kiwifruit

The latest research says taking two kiwifruit everyday can improve sleeping quality for 40%. Sleeping problem usually caused by exciting nerve system or abnormal hormone secretion from stress. The calcium in kiwifruit, which rarely appears in fruit, helps to stabilize emotion and control sensory nerves. The calcium, magnesium and vitamin C helps the material transportation within the sensory nerve  system.


2. Grapes

There is a research saying grapes helps healing insomnia because grapes contains an element that is called "Melatonin". Melatonin is secreted from pineal in our brain and it helps adjust the sleeping time. Melatonin is mostly secreted at night to tell us it's about time to sleep. So if we eat grapes, more melatonin will tell our brain to start sleeping. So grape wine would help even better because it contains alcohol as well.


3. Jujube

Jujube is more like a Chinese fruit. It helps stabilize mental state. We can also boil jujube after dinner with some water and drink it or make jujube porridge with lily leaves to eat before sleeping. It's going to help sleeping.


4. Apple

Well, apple seems to be good for health. Basically it's supposed to be good for everything, like Kiwifruit, Calcium and Vitamin C and many elements helps our sensory nerves. However, another reason apple can help sleeping is its smell. It's smell strongly stabilize our nerve system and help us sleep.


Role of Diet in Traditional Chinese medicine

In the post yesterday we talked about a lot of Chinese herbal medicines, or herbs, are indeed foods. Since foods are critical in Chinese herbalogy, there are certain dietary recommendations being put forth. Some of them are commonsense and familiar, others are more departed from western dietary concepts. However, these minor difference shouldn't hurt the general consensus about the important role played by diet in maintaining good health.

Diet recommendations in general:

1. Eat fresh, raw fruit regularly. Contrary to Western medical belief that the skin of fruit should be eaten because of its vitamins, Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) somehow suggest peeling the fruits and discard the skin. The seeds however, should be chewed and eaten because of its primordial essence. (Honestly, I'm still very lazy to peel the apples myself. )

2. Eat the foods in a form as close to their natural state as possible, like whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables. TCM doesn't believe that vitamins can make up vital nutrients in foods.

3. Combine food wisely, taking into consideration the acid and alkaline balance of the food. This means taking in equal portions of acid and alkaline food items, and not in excess of one or another.

Example of acid foods: onion, orange, cabbage, coffee, pepper, sugar, tomato, alcoholic beverage

Example of alkaline foods: banana, spinach, bread, carrot, broccoli, potato, eggplant, rice

4. Don't eat when you're extremely tired. Fatigue causes inefficient and sluggish digestion of the food, which clogs down the digestive system. (this makes a lot of sense to me, and I'm actually experiencing this TONIGHT...)

5. Avoid drinking liquids with your meal. Liquids dilute saliva and undermine the effectiveness of the enzymes for digestion. ( drink for meals? I probably can't do it.)

6. Don't eat immediate after sexual intercourse. Immediately during or following sex, all systems in your body are subordinate to sensory receptors, including the digestive systems.

7. Don't consume food or drink that is too hot or too cold. Just like the information I shared in a past article, dramatic climate change will cause imbalance of Yin and Yang - and that causes illnesses. Accumulating these dramatic changes inside your body isn't a good thing neither. Neutral temperature for anything taken into the digestive system is recommended. I know there are many Americans, even elderly, love to drink anything with ice. TCM or even my Qi Gong master, highly recommend not to drink with ice for better health and longevity.

Strictly follow these guidelines and sometimes us herbal therapy when necessary will correct imbalances that usually begin as mild digestive disturbances and problem often escalate when left unattended. These complications have risks to become causes that lead to more serious diseases of digestive system, such as gastritis, pancreatitis, gallstones, colitis, ulcers, acid reflux, intestinal abscess and kidney stones.

(sources: Chinese Herbal Medicine made easy by Thomas Richard Joiner.)