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How much truth is there in the folklore/mythology of food properties?

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  • How much truth is there in the folklore/mythology of food properties?

    For instance chicken soup is good for healing you when you are sick. I'm sure all of our grandmas and mothers had some sort of almost mystical food beliefs. But coming from the West to Singapore I've been inundated with more food mysticism than I've ever met in my life!
    "Don't eat crab after an operation, it will interfere with healing."
    "Eat this for liver, this for eyes, this for blood" etc

    One of the major tenants is this idea that some foods are 'heaty' where as some are cooling. Don't eat too much heaty food, don't eat to much cooling food. If you have a cold, don't eat cooling food!

    So how much of this is bullshit, and much is a grain of truth? Is it possible that ancient Chinese secret is the key to health?
    http://lifemutt.blogspot.sg/ - Gaming, Food Reviews and Life in Singapore

  • #2
    Originally posted by AMonkey View Post
    For instance chicken soup is good for healing you when you are sick. I'm sure all of our grandmas and mothers had some sort of almost mystical food beliefs. But coming from the West to Singapore I've been inundated with more food mysticism than I've ever met in my life!
    "Don't eat crab after an operation, it will interfere with healing."
    "Eat this for liver, this for eyes, this for blood" etc

    One of the major tenants is this idea that some foods are 'heaty' where as some are cooling. Don't eat too much heaty food, don't eat to much cooling food. If you have a cold, don't eat cooling food!

    So how much of this is bullshit, and much is a grain of truth? Is it possible that ancient Chinese secret is the key to health?
    Lol this is an endless source of amusement at my family gatherings. DH is from that neck of the woods and his family all go on about this being "heaty", that being "windy" etc.
    For folks who have never come across this, they don't mean that the food is hot/spicy, cold or that it gives you wind. It's more about which type of energy they produce, yin or yang, and the effect that had on the body.

    "Heaty food are food that will build you up. Food that will push your body to create internal hot energy (yang energy). Cooling food are food that will push your body to create internal cold energy (yin energy)."
    http://nutsaboutchineseidioms.wordpr...-cooling-food/
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    Originally posted by tfarny
    If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/

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    • #3
      Yep, I always tell that if you have the flu eat chicken soup... it usually works miracle, I never questioned it but I think that it's because it's easier on the stomach than a normal meal and therefore being kept inside to help your immune system.

      Also eating spicy foods will help you with a cold... just try it and see how runny your noose get! At least it will open up your airways for a few minutes...

      Besides that I don't trust my grandma's wisdoms when it comes to food, she is overweight and living on meat, legumes and grains....
      My story, My thought....

      It's all about trying to stay healthy!!!!

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      • #4
        Chicken soup usually has a good amount of garlic. One of the reasons it helps when your sick.

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        • #5
          Also old-style chicken soup was made bone-in, giving you a massive mineral dose.

          AMonkey: TCM is what they're referencing and I wouldn't put any stock in it. It's basically humorism, which is something the west had as well.

          M.

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          • #6
            "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day" is one of my favorites.

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            • #7
              I think our grandmothers had a lot more common sense than we do. Gargle with salt water for sore throats. Chicken soup for colds. Gets the sinuses moving and the bone broth is good. But I'm sure it needs to be real soup not Lipton. LOL. They were dealing with stuff before the convenience era. A lot of that wisdom is lost now. Glad I had a farming Grandma!! I don't think breakfast being the most important meal of the day was grandmothers wisdom. More conventional wisdom!!

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              • #8
                If you use bone broth for chicken soup, then you are getting the anti-viral properties of the skin as well as all of the minerals from the bones, etc. So, it definitely helps out.

                The idea that an apple a day keeps the doctor away has been demonstrated -- apparently apples help with overall heart and arterial health.

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                • #9
                  Re the chicken soup, I was told its because of the salt it contains replenishing lost electrolytes.
                  This is all just opinion. And it will have probably changed by this time tomorrow. Don't quote me on anything.

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                  • #10
                    Many of these are anecdotal. Chicken soup is surely good for a cold because it is easy for the body to process and bone broth is exceptionally nutritious and contains ample gelatin, which is crucial for tissue repair. There's nothing magical about chicken soup in and of itself. You could probably develop some type of equally magical pudding made out of egg yolks, warmed milk and gelatin. Clearly, nutritious foods that are simple for your body to process will benefit during a cold, and chicken soup fulfills that.

                    "Carbs drive insulin drives fat" is my favorite. Silly old wives tale
                    Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 01-07-2014, 08:30 AM.
                    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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                    • #11
                      Chicken stock made with bones is a very healthy thing to ingest at any time....
                      And saying TCM is the same as humorism? You obviously don't know much about it....there's a lot more to it than that. It's a very advanced system of medicine that dates back centuries.

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                      • #12
                        How about hot lemon with whiskey and honey for colds?

                        How about honey having antibacterial properties?

                        Chicken soup is just bone broth by another name.

                        We say to eat carrots for healthy eyes. We also say eat your hearthealthywholegrains and milk builds strong bones, etc.

                        We all do this and primal/paleo seems to do it with equal fervor as the Chinese and the vegetarians and CW.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          "Heaty" in Chinese (if I am correctly translating what you're referring to...) sometimes is talking about the foods that promote inflammation. As a kid when I got a nose bleed my parents informed me that I've consumed too much "heaty" foods. A lot of times inflammatory foods are mixed up with foods that have a thermogenic effect...chili pepper for example... since both are described as "heaty."

                          One of the most popular beliefs is to eat organs to promote certain functions: eat fish/sheep brains to be smarter, eat eyeballs (fish being the most common) to improve eyesight, eat ____ to promote fertility/sex drive... XD

                          I had to eat eyeballs and brains as a kid because of these beliefs. I don't believe I'm smarter or have better eyesight because of eating those nasty things.
                          ------
                          HCLF: lean red meat, eggs, low-fat dairy, bone broth/gelatin, fruits, seafood, liver, small amount of starch (oatmeal, white rice, potatoes, carrots), small amount of saturated fat (butter/ghee/coconut/dark chocolate/cheese).

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                          • #14
                            It extends beyond substances that cause actual inflammation, too. Various styles of tea have different levels of "energy" based on how they're processed. Greens are "cooling (typically neutral cool to cool)", while high roast TGY is certainly high in "heat energy" (so much so that they advocate letting it sit six months before consumption as fresh roast TGY may be dangerously high in said energy). It's pretty much all tosh.

                            If (to continue with Turquoise's example, thank you Turquoise) food X causes some manner of inflammation, it's not because it has "heat energy". If you are inflamed, you are not suffering from "heat evils". It is much more involved than that.

                            M.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AMonkey View Post
                              For instance chicken soup is good for healing you when you are sick. I'm sure all of our grandmas and mothers had some sort of almost mystical food beliefs. But coming from the West to Singapore I've been inundated with more food mysticism than I've ever met in my life!
                              "Don't eat crab after an operation, it will interfere with healing."
                              "Eat this for liver, this for eyes, this for blood" etc

                              One of the major tenants is this idea that some foods are 'heaty' where as some are cooling. Don't eat too much heaty food, don't eat to much cooling food. If you have a cold, don't eat cooling food!

                              So how much of this is bullshit, and much is a grain of truth? Is it possible that ancient Chinese secret is the key to health?
                              I tend to believe some of the hot/cold food stuff having been introduced to Chinese Medicine at a formative time in my life. The various Chinese practitioners I saw always said that my body was too cold/damp and advised me to eat a certain way. Years later I was diagnosed with hypothyroid, which is another way of saying my body was too cold/damp.

                              Chicken soup/bone broth is always good.
                              Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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