TAIPEI (Taiwan News) - Named among the top 10 unusual foods in the world by travel website VirtualTourist.com, pig's blood cake, a Taiwan local delicacy, has recently been said carrying health benefits that can protect people against the effects of smog. A renowned traditional Chinese medicine practitioner backs the saying but suggests not to take more than two portions a week.
Articles about foods that can reduce harmful effects of air pollution have recently spawned on the Internet, which feature three local foods -- pig's blood cake, also known as "blood tofu" or "blood pudding," lamb stew and white fungus lotus seed soup.
Pig's blood cake is a street delicacy made of sticky rice and pig's blood, which hold the rice cake together after steaming, and then is coated with powdered peanut butter and cilantro to give a faintly sweet taste and pleasant scent.
Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner Wu Ming-chu (吳明珠) said that the air pollution passes through trachea to affect our health, and the consumption of the three can indirectly boost our immune system to prevent or heal lungs from damage thanks to their nutritional content.
Wu said that pig's blood cake contains several types of minerals, vitamins and iron that are good for our immune system, and the plasma protein contained in the blood can, after its decomposition triggered by stomach acid or gastric juice, detoxify harmful substances in our body.
For vegetarians, it can be replaced by beetroot to reach that end, Wu added.
Wu noted that pig's blood contains high levels of iron and cholesterol, and should be consumed in an appropriate amount by no more than two portions a week.
Other herbs used in traditional Chinese medicine for healthy lungs include loquat, American ginseng, licorice and angelica root, which can be served in broiling hot water to make tea for daily care, according to Wu.
Prevention is better than cure. Doctors advise people to wear a medical mask from time to time and reduce outdoor activity amid heavy smog.