The root cause to many of the health problems in modern society is poor eating habits.
Many of the foods available today are processed and refined, being robbed of most of the nutrients necessary for maintaining a healthy body. This lack of nutrients upsets the body's chemical and energetic balance and creates an environment for fatigue, illness and early death to manifest.
The key to eating is balance. In Traditional Oriental Medicine there are five elements in nature that influence the body. The balance of these five elements in the body maintains the body's balance. These elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each element corresponds to a season, color and flavor that is absorbed by a particular organ system.
The element of Wood is:
Green foods like leafy vegetables and sprouts nourish the energy of the liver and gall bladder. Examples of sour foods are lemon and cider vinegar.
The element of Fire is:
Red foods like beets, strawberries and hawthorne berries nourish the energy of the heart and small intestine. Examples of bitter foods are turnips and mustard greens.
The element of Earth is:
Yellow and orange foods like yams and corn nourish the energy of the Spleen and Stomach. Examples of sweet foods are fruits and grains.
The element of Metal is:
White foods like cauliflower nourish the lungs and large intestine. Examples of pungent foods are ginger, mint and garlic.
The element of Water is:
Dark Blue and Black foods like eggplant nourish the energy of the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder.
Proper diet includes all of these flavors in proper balance to nourish these organ systems. Balance does not necessarily mean equal amounts in a meal, but enough to stimulate each organs function.
A suggested guideline for a balanced diet for the average person is 40% whole grains, 40% freshly prepared vegetables, 10% fresh fruits, 10% legumes/ seeds/ nuts (in a vegetarian diet and less in a diet that includes meat), and no more than 10% animal products. Seaweeds like nori and hijiki should be added in small amounts for their trace mineral content.