Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner and mooncakes of all different flavours are appearing on the market again. At this time every year, reports on the high sugar, high fat and high cholesterol content of mooncakes and their detrimental effects on one’s health also start to appear. Such news always impairs the mood of the festival and makes one feel guilty while indulging in luscious mooncakes at family gatherings. Is there then a guilt-free way to enjoy mooncakes?
How TCM views mooncakes
In TCM, the high sugar and fat content of the mooncake filling can contribute to excess energy in the body, which produces heatiness. Baked mooncakes are also considered more “heaty” than snow skin mooncakes, due to the application of high heat in the cooking process. In the body, heatiness is often expressed as a sore throat, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, dry stools etc.
Even with the lower fat and sugar alternatives, excessive consumption can also cause impairment of the digestive system, resulting in a rich and greasy feeling in the stomach, bloating, indigestion etc. This is especially common in the elderly and children, and those with a weaker digestive system.
Thankfully, these effects can be countered with the following herbal tea that reduces greasiness, lowers sugar levels, and has cooling effects.
Mooncake Herbal Tea
Ingredients (Serves 3-4 people)
Hawthorn berry (12g) Wolfberry (10g) Mulberry leaves (10g)
1. Place all ingredients in a tea pot and add hot water. 2. Infuse for 20 mins and it is ready to serve
1. Aids in digestion, particularly in greasy food 2. Manages sugar levels 3. Clears excess heat
Hawthorn is a common herb used to improve digestion, especially of greasy food, and thus reduces bloating, stomach discomfort and indigestion caused by overeating. It is also often used to assist in lowering body fat content. High in antioxidants, flavonoids, saponins and vitamin C, hawthorn may also be effective in lowering blood lipids, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Contraindications: Due to its acidic nature, hawthorn berries should be taken with caution for those with excess stomach acid, acid reflux or those with a weak Spleen.
Mulberry leaf is a cooling herb commonly used to expel wind-heat pathogens that causes colds with sore throat, dry mouth and yellowish mucus etc. It is also used to clear Lung heat to treat coughs with yellow phlegm as well as Liver heat to treat dry eyes and headaches. Research has suggested that mulberry leaf may be able to lower blood cholesterol and lipid levels.
Wolfberries are known to nourish the Liver and Kidneys, thus helping to improve eyesight, moisten skin and promote healthy hair growth. Research has shown that wolfberry may promote immunity, lower blood pressure and blood lipids, and may have anti-aging, anti-tumor and hypoglycemic effects.
一般上的月饼可分别为烘烤制成，或冰皮月饼。前者会因烘烤而比较燥热， 但无轮是哪一种制作法，两者都含油脂、蔗糖。中医认为，由莲子或其他豆类所制成的內馅， 加入白沙糖经过加工熬制后，将产生热气，即便是所谓低脂、低糖的健康月饼，仍存面粉诸成分，过量食用会产生滑腻感。过食月饼后的常见问题有消化不良，胃满、腹胀，血糖升高 等。特别是老人、儿童、肠胃功能不适者，更要注意适量为宜。