Eating a gut healthy breakfast porrige is the best way to increase your digestive fire.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) the digestive flora, or microbiome relates to the Qi of the Spleen and Stomach. When SP/ST Qi become weak or deficient, symptoms like bloating, brain fog, candida overgrowth and obsessive compulsive thoughts can occur. Why? Because the inner transformation mechanism is slowed down and it takes longer for things to digest. To learn more about the emotional and functional aspects of Spleen and Stomach Qi, check out my previous post here.
Imagine using wet wood to build a fire. It takes much longer to heat up the wood and it creates more smoke and turbidity as opposed to a clear flame. This is the essence of digestive fire, you want to keep the coals hot and the flames dancing.
We all may have heard the phrase, “You are what you eat” but the second half of that phrase says “You are what you digest.”
In TCM our digestive fire is at the root of vitality. Our ability to transform, transport and assimilate nutrients is the function of Spleen and Stomach Qi. This goes for our thinking and emotional processing too. How we digest and process emotions is a reflection of how our body digests and assimilates nutrients.
If the digestive fire is weak, this can give rise to bacterial overgrowth in mucosal linings from the nasal passageways to the stomach, intestine and descending colon. Similarly, a weak digestive fire can result in brain fog, headaches and fatigue. The former can further harm our immune system and make us more susceptible to infections and illness.
Foods that are cold or damp inhibit the digestive fire and slow down the metabolism. Unfortunately the standard American breakfast consists of cold damp foods like cereal, milk, juice, yogurt and smoothies.
Consuming cold damp foods first thing in the morning actually weaken the digestive fire, especially in the cooler winter months.
Porridges, oatmeals and congees are a great solution to warming the digestive fire first thing in the morning.
They are quick, easy and can be made with various grains, oats, seeds and berries. If you are taking any herbal powders like Ashwagandha, Lions Mane, TCM formulas or others, blending these into your breakfast porridge is a great way of kicking it up a notch.
Here is what you’ll need.
- 1/2 cup Organic Oatmeal
- 1/4 cup Organic Quinoa
- 1 Table Spoon Flax Seeds
- 1 Table Spoon Pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup Goji Berries
- 1/4 cup Currant Raisins
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 tsp Date Syrup (optional)
- 1 Table Spoon Hemp Seeds
- 1 cup of Almond Milk (optional)
- 3 cups of water
- Combine the Quinoa and water into a pot and and let simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes
- Add the Oatmeal and more water if needed, turn heat to low
- Combine the flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, currant raisins and goji berries to the pot and stir
- Turn off the stove, add cinnamon, date syrup and almond milk
- Cover the pot for 1-2 minutes and let everything congeal
- Top it off with some hemp seeds and enjoy while hot
To learn more about the significance of the gut microbiome check out my previous post here.