You’ve probably never heard the term “qi” (pronounced “chee”) before unless you’ve tried acupuncture or have seen a doctor who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In Chinese philosophy, qi is a vital energy force that guides someone’s mental and physical processes and can be balanced with food, sleep, and exercise.
Find out how to know if you’re deficient in it and how to regulate it below.
Qi can be described as the body’s ability to regulate its internal environment to create good health; ultimately “life force”; an energy. In Indian culture, it’s called prana. In Greek culture, it’s called pneuma.
Qi is an integral component of TCM. When you have blockages, deficiencies, or excess of energy, you may experience illness.
If you have balanced qi, may have good endurance, digestion, and immunity, as well as a clear state of mind.
Too little “life force”, and you might feel fatigued, have difficulty digesting food, have no appetite, and catch colds easily, have allergies, anemia, and depression.
People with excess energy might appear irritable, stressed, or tense.
By balancing your diet, you can help balance your “life force”. Most of the body’s energy comes from food. Nourishing your body with healthy foods that heal and promote good digestive health is crucial.
When balancing this energy, you’ll want to avoid cold foods, raw foods, fried foods, dairy products, and junk food. You should cook food through steaming, grilling and roasting. foods like chicken, ginger, whole grains, bamboo, and mushrooms.
For some people, just eating three regular meals is enough to build qi.
Here’s a list of foods that specifically nurture this energy: