• 10Feb

    One distinct Chinese food culture my late maternal grandmother and parents instilled in me is the tradition of soups.  Like a comforting bowl of chicken soup that Americans love, a bowl of nourishing and delicious Chinese soup conjures up the same kind of comfort, even nostalgia from childhood times with my close-knit family and my late grandmother’s soups.  Soup is a deep-rooted and endeared Chinese food tradition who are well-known for their “slow-fire” soups, boiled for 2-3 hours on the stove and over 5 hours in the slow cooker.  As an indispensable part of the Cantonese dining table, the culture of soup is deeply rooted in Cantonese lives. A popular saying goes like this: The Cantonese would rather drink soup than eat rice. From which we can gain a glimpse of how important soup is in the heart of the Cantonese. And this is so true for me as I do not eat rice. I can survive on just soups, vegetables and fruits with a little lean meat.

    Besides comforting and hearty, another reason why I love Chinese soups is for their health benefits.  Traditional Chinese soups are gentle tonics made from fresh vegetables, lean meats or fish, and flavored only by natural ingredients. We hardly season our soups with salt for it is already naturally sweetened from the ingredients.  One distinguishing point about traditional Chinese soups vs Western soups is that oil, cream, and butter are never used – making the soups naturally low fat, low calorie, and low sodium.  Many Chinese soups also include herbal ingredients that enhance the health-benefiting function of the soup.

    A bowl of ‘Buddha hand’ gourd soup with chicken, carrots, sweet potatoes, goji berries and red dates that I cooked recently.

    My daughters’ favorite soup of all times is ABC soup ~ a soup composed of carrots, tomatoes, onions, celery, pepper corn, meat, cabbage, potatoes and much more. Lately I like adding sweet potatoes into my chicken soups as it imparts natural sweetness, antioxidants and goodness from the sweet potatoes.

    Vegetables ready to be put into the pot for making ABC soup (chicken breast meat not in the photo).

    The Cantonese are known to place utmost importance to the nourishing and healing functions of soups.  The benefits can range from detoxification, nourishment to major body organs, reduction of blood sugar and blood pressure, replenishment of the Qi, reduction of body ‘heatiness’ and release of excess element(s) that throw the body off its internal yin-yang balance.  When the internal body is off balance, outward bodily symptoms like sore throat, coughing or dryness can appear.

    Photo credits : Panpages.my

    Studies aside, experts agree that chicken soup is worth trying when you are sick and can come in handy when eating a solid meal feels like too much for your tummy to digest.  Chicken soup can offer a nutrient-dense food option when someone is struggling with a poor appetite according to Kristen Smith, a registered dietitian and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. It can also help increase hydration during a time when this could be a challenge.

    The effectiveness of chicken soups are backed by studies and you can read an article on the science of chicken soups by The New York Times here.


  • 02Feb

    Urinary tract infection or UTI is one of the most common health problems faced by people today. This painful infection is 10 times more prevalent in women than in men, with almost 50% of females experiencing this condition at least once during their lifetime. About 30% to 40% of UTIs recur within 6 months after the initial episode. When UTIs do recur, it is often because the treatments used to suppress bacteria seem to work at first, but they do not produce a lasting cure. UTIs can also recur if a woman is infected by different bacteria.  UTIs can also recur when the bacteria has become resistant to the antibiotics prescribed.

    Symptoms of UTIs include:

    • Pain or burning during urination
    • The need to urinate more often than usual
    • A feeling of urgency during urination
    • Blood or pus in the urine
    • Cramps or pain in the lower abdomen
    • Chills or fever (fever may be the only symptom in infants and children)
    • Strong smelling urine
    • Pain during sexual intercourse
    • Nausea, vomiting, and malaise
    • Diarrhea
    • Sore vagina



    There are many approaches to maintaining the health of the urinary tract that include diet, exercise and herbal supplementation. Green tea is one supplement that has some scientific backing in helping the health of the urinary tract. Certain herbs are purported to help with UTIs, including green tea.

    Numerous studies, including one carried out by the US National Library of Medicine have shown that green tea has antimicrobial effect on E. coli bacteria that cause UTIs.  The data also adds to the current information on the potential health benefits of green tea.


    A cup of green tea with two different types of tea leaves on spoons

    To prevent UTI, drink two or three cups of tea daily. Green tea contains certain antioxidants that one recent study found can reduce bladder inflammation. Here are some more health benefits of green tea.

    Other natural remedies include coconut water, D-Mannose, Chinese herbs for treating UTI (this can be purchased from Chinese medicine halls), boiled barley water and drinking lots of clear fluids.  Stay away from acidic fruits and food, spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks / sodas, artificial sweeteners, white flour products and sugary foods.

    If you think you are suffering from a urinary tract infection, see your doctor immediately, as antibiotics may be necessary. Though green tea may be helpful in preventing UTIs and protecting the urinary tract, it’s not a cure.


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About Me

I am a WFHM with 3 beautiful girls - Alycia, Sherilyn and Cassandra. I quit the job that I love to stay home with my 3 angels as that's what I've always wanted to do. I am a health freak, fitness freak and a clean freak too. I love to eat and live healthily and I want my kids and hubby to do the same too. Apart from being obsessed with good health, I am obsessed with fashion! I own an online store that sells ladies and kids clothing. Check out my online store at Old & New Stuff For Sale

I always believe that your health is your wealth and if you have good health, that's the best gift you can ever ask for from God.

Do check out my other blogs Health Freak Mommy and Health Freak Mommy’s Journal too!

I have been writing product reviews, food reviews / restaurant reviews and product advertorials since 2007. Please email Shireen at shireenyong@gmail.com to inquire if you are interested to place an advertorial or review in this blog.

Thank you!