What's the secret of Novak Djokovic's growing success on the tennis court? The use of holistic Chinese medicine principles in his unusual diet, reported the Sydney News recently.
Novak has detailed his dietary guidelines in his recent book: "Serve to Win: The 14-Day Gluten-Free Plan for Physical and Mental Excellence" (click for details).
In accordance with Chinese medicine, Novak eats primarily warm foods and avoids both dairy and excess sugar. Foods considered warm refer to both the heat and the "energy" of the food, says naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist Cassie Mendoza-Jones.
Foods that are "warm" according to the principles of Chinese medicine include squash, carrots, potatoes, leeks, onions, rice, oats, butter, small amounts of animal protein, cooked fruits, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper and honey. The optimal temperature: Tepid.
“Room temp food is always better because your body doesn’t have to use any energy to heat it up. Your body has to bring food up to a happy temperature before it’s absorbed and passed through," explained Cassie.
And she, like Novak, recommends room temperature water as well.
“For some people it’s a bit of a shock to the system to have ice-cold water and you can feel your whole body cools down when you drink it. Hot or warm tea is definitely easier for your body to manage as it’s more quickly absorbed," she said.
In his book, Novak advocates licorice tea, such as Yogi Egyptian Licorice or Stash Tea Company Licorice Spice Herbal Tea (click for details). In addition to tea, Cassie advocates hot, warming foods when you're not feeling well or having digestive problems.
“I have some clients who have such bad digestion that I need them to eat a lot of hot, warming foods until they feel better,” she says.
To learn more about eating in accordance with these principles, read: