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Dietary Supplements
 

 

Dietary Supplements

Chinese people attach considerable importance to keeping healthy by eating dietary supplements and winter is a particularly important period for such a lifestyle choice. In order to achieve an optimal health outcome it is also important to carefully select medicinal herbs, supplementary foods, ingredients and cooking methods, while ensuring one has a balanced diet with complementary sources of nutrition.


Seasonal Supplements

Spring

As the weather warms up everything springs back to life, but the drizzle brings with it moisture and people often catch cold. In this period, Chinese traditional medicines that nourish Qi are particularly important. Examples include ginseng (粉光蔘), Royal Jelly (蜂王乳), red dates, four gentlemen soup (四君子湯), Buzhong Yiqi soup (補中益氣湯) etc.

Summer

The impact of the summer heat can be dissipated by drinking cold beverages to supplement vitality, remain hydrated and avoid becoming overly tired. Additional beneficial supplements include Mung beans (綠豆), Job’s tears (薏仁), Chrysanthemum (菊花), Japanese honeysuckle (金銀花), Chinese yams (淮山), Wolfberry (枸杞), pulse promoting drinks (生脈飲), Four divinity soup (四神湯) etc.

Autumn

At this time of year the weather can be highly changeable, with low temperatures and moisture in the early morning and evening that often agitates the respiratory system. As such, it is particularly important to remain healthy to avoid being impacted by pathogenic bacteria. Beneficial supplements include concoctions made from Radix Hedysari (晉耆), red dates and Wolfberry (枸杞) boiled in water, ginseng infused tea to replenish vitality (人蔘泡茶補充元氣), stewed chicken soup (四珍膠燉煮雞湯) etc.

Winter

At a time of year when cold fronts become more frequent and the temperature drops precipitously it is easy to catch cold. As a result, winter dietary supplements have become a traditional way of remaining healthy. Diets should include more warm and hot foodstuffs (溫性、熱性食品) to enhance the body’s ability to combat the cold weather. Additional supplements can include ginger root (老薑), body-warming ginger duck, Chinese caterpillar fungus (冬蟲夏草) Chinese caterpillar fungus chicken soup stewed with ginseng tablets (人參片燉煮的蟲草人蔘雞湯) or other herbal cuisines.