Summer does not always mean saying no to "warm" foods. Yang-reinforcing foods such as finless eel and ginger can help maintain health for the right people. And sometimes they can perform even better than expensive herbs such as ginseng.
Finless eel was used by the ancient Chinese people about 2,000 years ago. At first, eel was only used in the making of drums because of its elastic skin. Its medical value was not discovered until the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Since then, the proverb "eating a finless eel in summer and ginseng in winter" has held sway.
Finless eel is rich in DHA, an omega-3 fatty acid, and lecithin, the main components of the cell membrane of organs and the brain. It is also rich in vitamin A, which is especially good for the eyes.
Apart from improving memory and eye-sight, eating finless eel can also help normalize blood sugar levels for both high blood sugar or low blood sugar patients thanks to some unique elements.
Being high in protein yet low in fat makes finless eel one of the most preferred reinforcing nutritious foods. It is said to be a main ingredient of the legendary daliwan (super strength pill) in some ancient medical books.
Finless eel is a "warm" food that helps reinforce yang energy and blood, benefits the liver and kidneys, dispels pathogenic wind and dampness, and strengthens bones and tendons.
It is often recommended to help relieve sore backs and joints and weakness due to fatigue, illness or giving birth.
And it is also said to help improve sexual desire due to its kidney-reinforcing function.
Finless eel in Xiaoshu (Minor Heat) are comparable to ginseng, many Chinese believe. Finless eel usually grow fat, nutritious and reinforcing in days around Xiaoshu, a Chinese solar term usually falling on July 7 or 8.
But that is not all that contributes to its advantage over ginseng in summer. Actually, eating finless eel in summer also involves dong bing xia zhi (treating winter ailments in summer).
Chronic winter ailments such as bronchitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis are usually in remission during the summer.
Eating yang-reinforcing finless eel at this time can help grow and store yang energy inside and thus help prevent a relapse of winter ailments when the weather gets colder.
Though reinforcing, finless eel is not suitable for everybody in summer. As it is a yang (warm) reinforcing food, it's not suitable for patients with ailments such as high blood pressure, stroke, hyperthyroidism and acute inflammation such as fever, rhinitis, antiaditis and chronic bronchitis.
People who are bothered with excessive pathogenic heat should also avoid eating it.
It is strongly recommended that you buy freshly killed finless eel and cook it soon after as proteins in the eel will turn into poisonous elements shortly after death. This may cause dizziness, headache, chest distress and even low blood pressure. Dietary Therapy Finless eel and pork
Ingredients: Finless eel (200g), thin pork (100g)
1. Chop the finless eel into pieces, chop the pork into fine slices, and put them together in a bowl.
2. Steam the bowl above water until it is done.
3. Season with salt
Benefits kidney and reinforces energy. It is recommended to relieve sore backs due to deficient energy in kidney.