Chinese Medicine has a whole medical text on the importance of the Spleen called the Pi Wei Lun dating back to early history. In all of us, the Spleen is important for Qi & Blood Production (aka energy levels), digestion and mental clarity.
For women in particular, blood & energy production can be one of our weak points. How many times has a GP asked what your Iron, Thyroid or Vitamin B levels are like?
The Spleen has a major role in healthy fertility – menstrual flow, the condition of the Uterus, the endometrium and preparing the centre stage for Pregnancy. Once Pregnant, the blood and qi have a vital role in growing and creating a new human being and the healthy development of the placenta and foetus (lots is needed!).
Nutrition is the easiest way for a person to strengthen their Spleen and therefore their energy levels, blood quality and all other concordances that relate to the Spleen – Uterus, muscles, cognition, digestion & absorption. Foods that help fertility are also Spleen friendly foods. Seeking a Nutritionist or Naturopath’s advice is beneficial, but Traditional Chinese Medicine takes dietary therapy to another level by getting really specific with the Spleen, an organ often overlooked in Western Medicine.
So lets take a Chinese Medicine look at what the Spleen likes and what foods can help fertility.
Spleen friendly foods include most complex carbohydrates and animal products. Such foods are basically sweet and or pungent, perfect for activating his digestive fire and spleen energy (Warm & Dry).
SPLEEN FOOD #1: Grains
If Grains are your thing:
- Well cooked rice is one of the best, gradually acting spleen tonics, and use low GI rice eg basmati, brown or wild rice
- If Grains aren’t your thing, that’s ok, there’s plenty of other options to boost your Spleen Qi.
SPLEEN FOOD #2: Low GI, High Energy
SLOW Carb vegetables & pulses including; Winter squash, carrot, parsnip, turnip, chickpeas, black beans, peas, sweet potato, yam, pumpkin.
- Try veg chips baked in the oven such as sweet potato, carrot, parsnip chips, lightly spiced with turmeric
- Root vegetable, cashew & Pea samosas with indian spices
- Stuffed Baked Spuds
- Mushy Peas
- Sweet potato salad with diced bacon, shallots & mayonnaise,
- Sweet potato/pumpkin mash.
SPLEEN FOOD # 3: Pungent
Think warming and fragrant. Pungent veggies and spices including Onion, leek, ginger, cinnamon, fennel, garlic, nutmeg.
- Nutmeg in a Greek spinach & feta pie (minimal feta cheese)
- Soft baked fennel w olive oil
- Sugar free gingerbread snaps w ginger & cinnamon,
- Pungent Spices in raw bliss balls,
- Potato or Kumera & leek soup etc
- Stewed Apples and Pears with Cinnamon & Nutmeg
- Chai Tea is a winner here- it covers this category well in just one cup; cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger.
SPLEEN FOOD #4: Sweet
Small amounts of some sweeteners and cooked fruits such as rice syrup, barley malt, molasses, cherry & date. Lets be sensible here as excess Sweet can work against you and injure the Spleen.
- Natural sweeteners instead of refined sugars eg stevia, dates, prunes
- great choice for recipes out there for raw bliss balls using dates, raw cacao as the sweetener
- Cherry crumble
- Date & Chocolate Torte
- Stewed Fruit: Apples, Pears, Rhubarb
- Molasses is a tricky one, but explore the rice malt syrup options in health food store instead.
SPLEEN FOOD #5: Animal Products
Prepared in a soup may be easier to digest; mackerel, tuna, halibut, anchovy, beef, chicken, turkey, or lamb. Tofu and tempeh are the veggie options.
- Beef or chicken bone broth with lots of veg
- Salmon Laksa with veg
- Slow cooking so the meat is falling off the bone: eg. Osso bucco, slow cooked chicken casserole, beef casseroles, stews, lamb shanks etc.
FOODS TO AVOID = Too much of Cold, raw, mucus forming, refined sweet & oily foods. (Cold & Damp)
- Excessive raw veggies & fruit, especially citrus, sprouts & cereal grasses.
- Physically cold foods such as iced water, frozen foods/desserts, icy smoothies, too many raw foods including cold salads.
- Sugary sweet foods; chocolate, lollies, biscuits
- Mucus producing foods; Dairy, bananas, oranges
- Oily, greasy, foods; deep fried anything
Nourishing and taking care of your Spleen is a crucial part of enhancing a woman’s fertility. Long term fatigue, lethargy, tiredness this can be a big indicator that your Spleen needs some support.
If you need more support to address a tired or weak Spleen, Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine are great options to get you started. Contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment today.