What are pungent foods and how do you use them?

The Chinese classification of the tastes of food can help you choose what foods you should eat more of and what you should eat less of. In this way you can help your health without having to make great changes. 


Today let us look at foods which are considered pungent and what this means for your body.

 

The Chinese character to which we get the name pungent is 辣 (pronounced là) and is often used to combine with other characters to describe things which are spicy, hot and numbing. The dictionary definition of pungent as "sharply affecting the organs of taste or smell, as if by a penetrating power; biting; acrid" is perhaps as good as we are going to get translation-wise.

 

While some of these foods are in fact somewhat hot and spicy, others are not. What you have to remember is that the classification of food is based on the reaction of the body to eating the food rather than how it is beforehand. Remember this and you won't be so confused.

 

So which foods are considered pungent? 

 

Cabbage

Garlic

Nutmeg

Chamomile

Pepper

Fresh ginger

Onion

Leek

Celery

Coriander

Fennel

Radish leaf

Chili pepper

Turnip

Cinnamon

Tangerine peel

Kumquat

Mustard seed

Spearmint

Wine

 

What do pungent foods do?

 

Pungent foods have a warm and moving effect on the body. They will stimulate your appetite by improving nutrient absorption and distribution and enhancing our metabolism.

 

What happens if you eat too much?

 

Too many can dry up the moisture in your lungs and stomach creating weakness. If your body is susceptible to heat disorders like inflammation, then you may overheat and become increasingly ill.  

 

 

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