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Eating out is part of city living. As we rush through the day, eating at food courts and fast food outlets became a convenient way to save time and effort. Yet, we may not make the best choices when we are rushing for time, or going about hungry. While modern living provided us with abundance of food, the irony is that we may not get the best of nutrition. Part of the problem lies with the way food is processed resulting in loss of nutrients. Other issues with hawker food or food prepared for sale come with the emphasis on taste and shelf life, resulting in hawkers and restaurants chef making food more salty than it should be, putting additives like MSG, artificial flavouring and preservatives. As a result, obesity-related disorders such as diabetes became common.

Traditional Chinese medicine emphasises the same view about balance in diet that nutritionists are also educating. In addition, many TCM herbs are also used in food, such as ginseng and angelica. Whether being used in food or as herbs, they exhibit the same function of healing the body by offering what the body needs. For example, goji berries are known to be good for eyesight and is a common food ingredient in Chinese cooking. In other words, TCM provided the principles for good nutrition and offers ingredients for food that serves a function. TCM can also be natural supplements for those who lack nutrients from frequent eating out. Think of herbal formulation as a personalised alternative to supplementation by vitamins and minerals.

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