Stomach and potato relationship
In TICM we have 5 seasons, Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn, Winter. Late Summer is coming in the Northern Hemisphere along with a lot of issues being faced currently in Victoria, Australia at the moment so time to ramp up on foods that will strengthen your immunity organs. Late summer is the season that correlates to the Earth element and the Spleen and Stomach organ systems, the organs responsible for our digestion and transforming the food we eat into nutrients and energy for the entire body. Please do not hamper your body with cold and raw foods even though it may be feeling hot externally. Remember your organs internally are always working hard to stay at 38 degrees celsius.
The most beneficial foods during this time are a combination of sweet in flavour in warm or neutral in its temperature. These are the attributes that harmonise the Stomach and Spleen the most. In TICM we always categorise food on its effect on the body after consumption, this allows us to truly eat for healing and balance.
Potatoes in TICM
Property: sweet and neutral.
Actions: tonify Qi, harmonise the Stomach, strengthen the Spleen, remove toxicity and resolve swelling.
Benefits: literally and metaphorically ground us.
Overall, potatoes are rich in nutrients. Their high fibre content is essential for colon health. They are also high in potassium, which helps muscle tension and cramping. They contain vitamins B, C, folic acids, pantothenic acid, thiamine, niacin and fair amounts of magnesium, manganese, iron, zinc and are also high in complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are the preferred method the body likes to make energy. I know we have been led to believe carbohydrates are bad for us but in reality if we need the right complex carbohydrates as this is converted to glucose for the brain. Without this glucose, our brains will not function. However, everything in moderation is good.
Just as everything in TICM, we seek balance. Yes, too many potatoes can add inches onto your waist, but eating them in the right quantity can fully support your digestive system and entire body and actually lead to healthy weight. A serving is about 1 - 1 1/2 cups.
Do try to eat organic potatoes whenever possible. Their skins are quite thin and soak up pesticides easily. Potatoes are part of the nightshade family, making them sensitive to some people who have chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis. If so, make sure to choose potatoes that are not green or sprouted.
If you have the leaves for the potatoes, why not eat that too to nourish the Liver/Gallbladder system too.