food

Food as Medicine and Remedies

By Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. The Whole Baby Guide. ™

Before birth, your baby does not have to digest food. The transition to digesting food is a healthy baby’s biggest challenge after she is born. Her digestive system has to work to its maximum capacity, and it can easily become stressed and overloaded. Therefore, most of her physical imbalances or illnesses are related to indigestion. When your baby is not feeling well, the remedy usually involves regulating and strengthening her digestive system. It is usually helpful to limit her diet to mild foods and give her digestive system a rest.

After you determine whether your child’s condition is more yin or more yang, you can adjust her food to help her restore balance. In general, simple, soft, mildly seasoned whole foods that lie near the center of the yin-yang spectrum, such as grains, vegetables, beans, and fruit, can help bring your child back to balance. If her condition becomes excessively yin or yang, you can help her balance by feeding her foods that provide an opposite influence.

With an excessive yin condition, provide plant-based foods that are slightly more yang, such as cooked whole grains, to help her gain energy. Add more yang vegetables, such as roots and winter squash, and cook the foods a little longer for extra heat. At the same time, reduce yin foods, especially fruit, fruit juice, and sugary or processed foods.

If your child has an excessively yang condition, you can help her relax by increasing her intake of vegetables, such as leafy greens, green peas, and zucchini. Serve grains that are soupy in texture, and limit use of salt in the cooking. Add some soft tofu and cooked fruit, too.

In addition to their yin and yang properties, some foods have thermal or probiotic properties, provide specific textures, contain certain specialized nutrients or chemicals, or create or reduce mucus. Foods may also promote an acidic or alkaline condition that helps or interferes with the healing of an illness. Even the cooking methods you use can affect your child’s condition. For example, food that is served warm is relaxing, while cold food is chilling to the body.

The following list includes some examples of everyday foods that contain certain medicinal properties that help heal sicknesses:
  • Whole grains and flaxseeds provide fiber to help with digestion
  • Radishes, turnips, lemons, and ginger help break up mucus.
  • Sea vegetables cleanse your baby’s body of toxins and have antimicrobial properties.
  • Fermented foods, such as miso and pickled plums, provide probiotics that aids digestion and neutralizes acidity.
  • Natural sweeteners, such as brown rice syrup, are relaxing and calming.
  • Mushrooms detoxify phlegm and pathogens via antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimicrobial compounds.
  • Chlorophyll-rich foods, such as leafy greens, support the body’s ability to produce oxygen. Human pathogens expire in an oxygen-rich environment.
  • Brightly colored fruits, such as berries and purple grapes, contain bioflavonoids that help build immunity.

You can use food as medicine by offering simple foods, understanding the yin and yang influences of foods, and providing foods with specific healing properties.

Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. Guide
By Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. The Whole Baby Guide. ™

A comprehensive and accessible resource for natural baby care. Nurture your baby with nature's principles for a radiant life. Grow Healthy. Grow Happy. The Whole Baby Guide is a complete resource for parents to give their babies a healthy beginning for the first three years.

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