Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Health - Optimizing What We Have Around

Singapore is a tropical country with summer almost all year round, and due to our multi-racial society along with our global entrepot, our diet consist a variety of spices and produce from all over the world.  What I'll touch on now is optimizing our health in this climate.

The human body living in a geographical location of 4 seasons is properly rested from autumn all the way to winter.  As Singapore don't enjoy such condition, our body is then consistently on a high metabolic rate. 

This, and our preference for heavy spices-and-condiment diet translate to our body system succumbing to frequent colds and flu.

In TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), a body in consistent high metabolic rate and having too much spices in the diet will weaken the functions of the spleen and liver.  Weakening the spleen and liver will in turn cause food taken in to be ingest poorly, and in turn, poor nutrition intake.  This will weaken our immunity giving way for virus and bacteria attacks.

If changing the diet is very difficult, one can do the following to balance the health a little bit.

  1. Take cooling drinks in warm temperature e.g barley water, winter melon water etc.  Cooling drinks taken in warm temperature will help the system absorb their nutritional properties to the maximum.
  2. Take them with a bit of rock sugar or honey.  Sweetness in the TCM point of view will help to lubricate the organs, mainly the lungs.  And it can negate the effects of heavy spices in the body, but it must be taken along with water.  This is especially important for alot of us working in buildings under the freezing central air-con system affecting the mucus membrane system.
  3. Drink more room temperature water.
  4. Reduce the consumption of stimulative food and drinks e.g chocolate, coffee, fried food etc etc
  5. Avoid taking replacement sugars.  Our body system and DNA are conditioned to recognise traditional sugar sources.
  6. Take tropical fruits to reduce the symptoms.  Domain fruits are Mother Nature's gifts to help dwellers cope with the local climate.
  7. Regular form of exercise for 3 times a week.  If running isn't your thing, a good 15-20 minutes walk for some sweat will suffice.
  8. Sleeping in the average optimal temperature at night between 25° - 27° Celsius.

The average human body is conditioned since our surface on Earth to repair ourselves at night at a lower temperature.  Failing to rest under such conditions will most of the times give poor sleeping results.  As different people manifest the conditions differently, the results range between sinus, unrefreshed waking in the morning, unable to focus at work/in school etc etc.

However, sleeping in too cold a temperature at night will "shock" the body the next morning when one prepares to walk out of the door.  Such temperature difference will weaken the respiratory system with the first victim - our sinus.  It's advisable not to hide ourselves in air-con rooms in the weekends so our body has a chance to rest from the sub-natural temperature we get in our office.

** The above entry do not represent the whole of Singaporean living here, and the symptoms noted may not apply to everyone.  It is best to understand your body condition and constitution before concluding anything from a reading material.