Chinese herbal medicine in the modern world is in fact the same as that prescribed in the high court for the Chinese emperor.
One of the emperor’s goals was the quest for a long life – the image of an ageless emperor looking down over his kingdom was a common theme in Chinese culture.
To live past 100 was to ensure that the emperor secured his place as rightful ruler. The second goal of the emperor was to be strong, healthy and never get sick. Sickness was a sign of weakness and could lead to his position as ruler being challenged by the next generation.
The third goal was to be virile so as to ensure the next generation.
In addition to the various herbal concoctions that the emperor consumed to ensure his longevity, diet played a huge role in preserving his health – and fruit would have been central to ensuring excellent nutritional balance.
With fruit available all year-round, due to a multitude of trade agreements, disease and nutritional deficiency was not a problem for royalty and the emperor. Conversely, the peasant class and common people lived off rice and dehydrated meat and as a result where plagued by various diseases due to poor nutrition.
Today, fruit is getting a bad wrap due to the sugars it contains. The common fad is to avoid sugar including fruit and aim for a diet based on mostly protein and vegetables.
While removing refined sugars, including those found in processed grain and dairy, is a benefit to health, not all sugars are created equal.
In fact, sugar in the form of glucose is vital to the human body as it fuels the brain, nervous system and all the cells in your body.
Fruit consumed in its whole form is an ideal way to get the sugars the body needs to function, as it comes packed with multiple disease fighting compounds including antitumor, anticancer, antioxidants as well as essential polyphenols, bioflavonoids, disease fighting pectin, vitamins and minerals.
A point to be noted is that fruit needs to be consumed in its whole form. Fruit juice is not an acceptable substitute.
When you juice a fruit you release all of the sugars and remove all the disease-fighting compounds, including pectin which is often found in the fibre and the skin of the fruit.
Prime examples of fruits to be added to your diet include apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cucumber (it has seeds, so yes it’s a fruit), melons, peaches, and plums.
Like the emperor of China, we have access to a broad range of wonderful nutritious foods that promote longevity and keep us healthy, so why not take advantage and use nutrition to keep your body well?
For extra support, you can consider adding herbal tonics and really fuel your body with the nutrients it needs to live like an emperor.
Keep in mind that the goal isn’t necessarily to live longer, but to have full body function and health for as long as possible along your journey through life.
Jarad Bianchi is a registered chiropractor, Chinese herbalist/acupuncturist and naturopath. Visit drbianchi.net