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Health Boosting Foods
By: Jennifer Dubowsky, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins are part of any healthy diet. Here are six nutrients that can enhance your health and vitality.

Garlic - Garlic boosts your immunity, increasing your ability to fight off infection. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels. One or two cloves of garlic a day is recommended for optimum health, so include it in your cooking!

Ginger - Ginger has been taken as a medicine by numerous cultures for thousands of years. This amazing spice is anti-inflammatory, reduces pain, and is excellent for many types of digestive distress (especially nausea.) More than one study has found that ginger may also be a potent cancer fighter.

Goji Berries - Small fruits that grow on evergreen shrubs in the Himalayas, Gou Qi Zi are slightly chewy and have a mild flavor. High in fiber and containing the highest antioxidant powers of any berry or fruit, they are used in Chinese medicine to increase longevity, strengthen the immune system, improve vision, protect the liver and improve circulation. The goji or wolf berry is widely available dried, and easily found as whole fruit or juice in natural-food stores.

Green Tea - There has been much research on the anti-carcinogenic properties of green tea. Studies of people in Asia who drink copious amounts of green tea daily have shown a correlation between green tea consumption and lower rates of a variety of cancers. Green tea is easy to find and can be purchased in most grocery stores and health food stores. It is refreshing iced or hot.

Honey - Known as Feng Mi in Oriental medicine, honey has many health benefits, and is often used in combination with other herbs. It contains anti-oxidants and the darker the honey, the higher the anti-oxidant content and deeper the flavor. Honey can be eaten or applied topically. It is anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal.

Throughout history, honey has been used to soothe and clear the skin, and encourage the growth of healthy tissue. You might enjoy trying raw honey as a facial mask. Organic raw honey that has not been pasteurized, clarified or filtered is your best choice.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids help keep joints healthy, reduce pain and swelling and can also help with depression, stress, arthritis and menopause. Omega-3, Omega-6 and Omega-9 oils are fats that directly affect cognitive, cellular and kidney function.

Foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids include: salmon, sardines, tuna and other cold water fish; nuts and seeds, notably flaxseeds, hemp seeds and walnuts; and soybeans and winter squash.

Learn more about how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can can help you live a longer and healthier life? Find an acupuncturist near you!

About the Author

Jennifer Dubowsky, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac. is an active blogger and writer, including authoring articles for Acufinder. On her blog Acupuncture Blog Chicago, Jennifer's posts bring information about Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal treatments, nutrition, and healthy living to professionals and interested consumers. She also provides updates about acupuncture research and links to the studies. Jennifer earned her Master of Science degree in Oriental Medicine from Southwest Acupuncture College, an accredited four-year Masters program in Boulder, Colorado. She received her Diplomate from NCCAOM, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and completed an internship at the Sino-Japanese Friendship Hospital in Beijing, China. Jennifer has been in practice in Chicago since 2002, bringing experience and passion to her work.