Natural Ways to Battle Obesity

Insights from Chinese Medicine

Chinese medicine has long used a four-step approach to manage weight, making it an ally in the fight against obesity. One of these steps involves promoting urination, much like how diuretics work in modern medicine.

Foods like small red beans, corn, corn silk, Job's-tears, and wax gourd peel can help increase urination. Small red beans, in particular, are a common food and a potent herb known for relieving fluid retention conditions like edema. Boiling them with malt, red dates, and a touch of garlic creates a nutritious, obesity-fighting meal.

Contrary to popular belief, eating more doesn't always lead to weight gain. It depends on what you eat. For instance, consuming more small red beans could lead to weight loss, which is why they're not recommended for underweight individuals, especially children. While small red beans and beefsteak have roughly the same calorie count, the beans have the added benefit of promoting urination and drying the body - something beefsteak can't offer.

Job's-tears, another staple in Chinese cuisine, also promotes urination. It's often used in tea, especially when dealing with urinary difficulties, edema, or nervousness. Corn and corn silk, particularly the latter, can also enhance urination. Interestingly, corn silk can even be added to coffee to extend its diuretic effect.

Soybeans and garlic can play a similar role. Try boiling 200g of soybeans with 100g of garlic until soft, and then eat them with meals. If garlic isn't to your taste, small red beans can substitute, but keep in mind that garlic is an energy tonic that can make you feel more energetic.

The second approach to managing body water is to absorb it, much like a cotton ball soaking up water in a glass. Broad beans and hyacinth beans are often used for this purpose. They are aromatic foods that can absorb water and alleviate diarrhea by drying the stools. Both beans can be ground into powder, fried with oil and salt, or used in soups and powders.

The third strategy is to cool the body to facilitate water passage. According to Chinese theory, a dry, hot body is less prone to obesity than a damp, hot one. Bitter gourd, with its extreme bitterness, can effectively cool the body and soften stools, making it beneficial for people with a hot-damp constitution. Mung beans and mung bean sprouts can also help to remove water and reduce body heat.

Lastly, for those with a cold-damp constitution, warming the body is key to releasing excess water. This can be achieved with foods that have a warm or hot energy and a pungent-sweet flavor. Cinnamon twig, fresh ginger, and dry orange peel, for example, can raise body heat and promote urination or perspiration.

By following these four methods, you can remove excess water from your body, leading to weight loss and improved health. However, to maintain these benefits and stay in good shape, it's crucial to prevent the body from retaining excess water in the future.

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