BLOOD DEFICIENCY is a pattern that I see a lot in practice and to some degree I find most women will experience this. The good thing is it can be managed quite well with diet.
What does a blood deficient person look like?
They will have low Iron anemic.
They can suffer from fatigue, dizziness,sleeping problems, insomnia and a lack of focus.
They will feel the cold, have a pale complexion, dry skin and palpitations.
They might have light periods, dark periods or no periods.
This may occur after excessive menstruation. Postpartum from childbirth and breastfeeding or can be caused by a diet low in iron, by loss of blood through trauma,or a progression of digestive dysfunction.
In order for our bodies to manufacture blood, it requires adequate absorption of specific nutrients from digestion. Which is why it can be said that Blood Deficiency almost always occurs with a backdrop of Spleen Deficiency. The Spleen from the Chinese Medicine perspective encompasses the overall health of the persons digestive system. When it is deficient it means that your body’s ability to extract and absorb nutrients from dietary sources is compromised. This in turn will lead to poor energy production and malnutrition disorders.
A weakened digestive system prefers food to be cooked and warm; long slow cooking soups, broths and stews; thorough chewing; simple combinations with fewer ingredients and regular meal times.Vegetables should be steamed or stir-fried just long enough to brighten their natural colour. Although cooking may destroy some nutrients, it makes the remaining nutrients much easier to assimilate, so the net result is better nutrition.
Foods that are especially nourishing to the digestive system include those that are neutral or sweet, warm flavours;
Root vegetables such as sweet potato, orange and yellow squash, carrots, parsnip, pumpkins.
Light grains such as rice and rice porridge (congee) oats and roasted barley.
Chick peas, black beans, walnuts, chicken, and beef.
A small amounts of naturally sweet flavours like molasses, dates and rice syrup with a little bit of pungent flavours including onion, garlic, turnip, ginger, fennel, cinnamon and nutmeg are beneficial in strengthening the digestive system.
You should not limit your diet to only these foods instead follow as a guideline, wherever possible choose organically grown foods.
Blood building requires greater protein intake with high amounts of iron, folic acid and b vitamins. Vegetarians may need additional supplementation.
Animal proteins in particular chicken and well as marrow, bone broth stocks and soups are invaluable method for extracting blood nutrients.
Eggs legumes, black bean, green leafy vegetables, wheatgrass, spinach, carrots, beetroot, parsley, molasses, fermented bean products, miso, tempeh, seaweed, spirulina, black sesame seed, leeches, coconut, goji berries are all beneficial in containing nutrients for building blood.
Overeating; drinking excessive fluids with meals or eating while working significantly reduces digestion.
Overly rich, oily or heavy foods should be avoided because they can overwhelm the digestive system.
Unhealthy fats, such as hydrogenated fats, fried foods, and most vegetable oils. These foods “gum up the works” of the GI and also lead to the formation of phlegm. For this reason, dairy products are generally considered GI-weakening foods as well. The exception to this rule is raw, unpasteurized or fermented dairy such as raw milk, Kefir or yogurts. Because the natural enzymes and beneficial bacteria are intact, it is far more digestible than pasteurized milk.
Sugar (including high fructose corn syrup, honey, agave nectar, and all other sweeteners), wheat and refined wheat products, and starches (potatoes) impose a heavy burden for digestion. Eliminating these from the diet is the most important place to focus your attention.
Uncooked and cold foods. Iced drinks are especially harmful. Think of cooking as a “pre-digestion” of your food. By cooking the majority of your food, you are significantly lightening the load– it does not have to work as hard to extract nutrition from your food.
30 minutes of physical activity a day. Movement strengthens digestion and helps the heart to circulate the blood around the body.
As well as moderate exercise deep breathing can help to strengthen the lungs. An important partner in supporting oxygenation of the blood and its dispersion within the body.
Rest is important especially in the early afternoon, which enables the liver to renew the blood during the day. It is also important to get no less than 8 hours sleep a day.
Learning to enjoy your beverages at room temperature is a healthful step to take. It is especially important to follow this guideline if you experience a number of symptoms of fatigue, loose stools, cold hands and feet, dizziness when standing up, and aversion to cold.
Simple two day blood building diet plan:
1 cup of pine nut & fig oatmeal, made with warm water.
Roasted chicken fillet with 2 tbsp yellow squash mash and ½ cup boiled baby
Medium portion beef and vegetable soup.
2-egg spinach omelette.
Roast chicken served with steamed broccoli florets and ½ cup brown rice.
Handful of dried apricots and pumpkin seeds.
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