Understanding Dampness And Heat Body Constitution
In a healthy person, there is little or no phlegm because the body can efficiently convert most foods and fluids into useful substances for the body to use.
The spleen plays an important part here because in TCM, we believe that the spleen is the main organ that absorbs nutrients from the food we eat and delivers them to all parts of our body.
When the spleen cannot absorb and transport nutrients efficiently, dampness will eventually form in the body over time. This dampness when combined with heatiness in the body (for people whose bodies are heaty in nature) will create various health issues.
The following symptoms are some of the obvious signs of a person with dampness and heat body constitution:
Oily, acne-prone skin
People with dampness and heat body constitution will find that their face gets oily easily. This body type also means that there is inflammation in the body, thus it’s common for individuals with dampness and heat body constitution to have acne-prone skin even into adulthood.
Bad breath or bitter feeling in the mouth
People of dampness and heat body type will find that their mouth feels bitter at times. Some may also experience bad breath.
As the spleen is weakened and affected by dampness, it is very common for people with this body constitution to experience sticky stools (that can’t flush cleanly/easily).
Common Issues With This Body Type
It is important that we learn how to bring our body (from dampness and heat body constitution) back to a more balanced state as having heat and dampness in the body can cause inflammatory-related diseases over time.
The following body issues are commonly associated with the dampness and heat body type:
People with dampness and heat body constitution will experience eczema more often than others. The occurrence of eczema may be at different parts of the body at different times.
Incomplete bowel movement
Individuals of dampness and heat body type often have difficulty emptying their bowels completely due to sticky stools. Some people may experience practical inconveniences as they have to visit the toilet more often as a result.
Painful ulcers in the mouth are a common issue for individuals of this body type. That is because having dampness and heat in the body over time triggers inflammation. For this reason, people with dampness and heat body constitution are more susceptible to various forms of inflammatory-related diseases.
Bringing Your Body Back To Balance
You do not need to be overly worried if you have dampness and heat body constitution (if you’re unsure of your body type, click here to take the TCM body constitution test).
By making adjustments to your eating and lifestyle habits, you can help your body to regain a state of balance and enjoy stronger immunity and better life quality!
Let’s check out what foods are suitable for your body constitution and the lifestyle changes you can make to improve your health!
Top Recommended Foods To Eat
Eating the right foods and avoiding the wrong foods (which will be covered in a later section) is the first step towards bringing your body back to a more balanced state.
Foods that are highly suitable for people with dampness and heat body constitution are those with dampness-removal and cooling properties.
Adding these foods to your diet or increasing the intake of these foods will help to improve your body constitution and return your body to a more balanced state.
Following are the top 5 recommended foods that will benefit you if you have dampness and heat body constitution (as a general rule of thumb, please consume all foods in moderation):
1. Chinese Barley (Chinese Name: 薏苡仁)
Chinese barley is highly recommended for individuals with dampness and heat body constitution for two reasons.
Firstly, it helps with clearing dampness in the spleen and it is useful especially for relieving water retention in the lower body (which is a symptom of body dampness).
Secondly, consuming Chinese barley helps with the body heatiness as it is cooling in thermal nature (helps to cool the body).
When purchasing barley, do take note to choose Chinese barley and not Holland barley as the former is more effective in clearing body dampness.
You can either cook Chinese barley with your rice or make a Chinese barley drink to enjoy its healing effects.
2. Mung Beans (Chinese Name: 绿豆)
Mung beans (also known as green beans) are a great food for people with dampness and heat body constitution because they are cooling in thermal nature (cools the heaty body), and they help to clear dampness in the body by passing it out through urine.
On top of that, mung beans also have detox and anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it highly suitable for the dampness and heat body type (which is prone to inflammation).
3. Winter Melon (Chinese Name: 冬瓜)
Winter melon has strong properties in dissolving phlegm and relieving water retention (a sign of body dampness), which makes it ideal for people with dampness and heat body constitution.
As winter melon is cold in thermal nature, it is recommended to be consumed during the warmer seasons (spring and summer).
Winter melon comes in fresh and dried forms – both forms work well so you can choose based on local availability and your personal preferences.
For fresh winter melon, you can steam it or add it to your soups. As for the dried form, you can add it to your Chinese barley drink for enhanced dampness-removal benefits.
4. Cucumber (Chinese Name: 黄瓜)
One of the most overlooked foods for the dampness and heat body type is cucumber.
Not only is cucumber cooling for the body, it also has detoxing properties that help to reduce inflammation in your body.
In addition, cucumber helps to clear dampness by increasing the body’s urination frequency.
Cucumber can be consumed raw or cooked depending on your personal preferences. For better results, consider eating cucumber raw as it has stronger effects in reducing heatiness in your body.
5. Lotus Root (Chinese Name: 莲藕)
Lotus root is also one of the highly recommended foods for people with dampness and heat body constitution.
It is cold in thermal nature so it helps to cools the heat in the body. It also has the property of cooling the blood and dispersing clots.
For easy eating, you can cut the lotus root into thin slices and steam it, or add it to your soups.
List of Recommended Foods
Apart from the top 5 recommended foods mentioned above, here are more food recommendations that are suitable for people with dampness and heat body constitution.
Foods To Avoid
As mentioned earlier, avoiding the wrong foods is as important as eating the right foods in your journey towards achieving a more balanced body state.
For someone with dampness and heat body constitution, it is best to avoid the following (or reduce intake as much as you possibly can):
Eating oily foods can cause your body to produce more phlegm and result in more dampness, which will further aggravate your body condition.
Sweet foods and drinks
Sweetened drinks and sweet foods like candy, cakes and desserts will increase the burden on your spleen and negatively impact its efficiency in converting nutrients from the food you eat.
Alcohol and spicy foods
Avoid or reduce alcohol consumption as much as possible because it will worsen the dampness and heatiness in your body. The same applies for spicy foods – do your best to reduce intake or eliminate it from your diet completely.
Finally, avoid dairy products as much as possible because they contribute to inflammation in your body. This is especially so for people with acne-prone skin. You can replace cow’s milk with non-dairy options such as soy or nut milk and you will experience a difference in a matter of weeks.
Apart from making adjustments to your food choices, the following are additional advice to help you shorten the time to regain your body health:
First, do your best to sleep early (10.30pm latest if possible) as this will help to reduce the inflammation in your body through the body’s natural healing process. Sleeping late will fuel the heatiness in your body in the long run.
Second, exercising or engaging in physical activities that stimulate sweating will do you good. The reason is simple – sweating is one of the most effective ways to clear the dampness in your body. Brisk walking or slow jogging are good options for you to consider.
Make time for relaxation
People of dampness and heat body type may find themselves getting frustrated easily. Do set aside time for relaxation and be more mindful of your activities. Listen to calming music and engage in relaxation activities more often will be beneficial for your health.
Thank you for visiting TCMFoodTherapy.net – we hope you find the above information helpful!
If you have any questions, feel free to post them at our Reddit page and we’ll be there to help you out 🙂
We sincerely wish you the very best of health!