According to a recent study, breast cancer is on the rise in South Korea. Researchers believe this is caused by an increasingly Westernized lifestyle—particularly diet.
According to Chinese medicine, cancer is caused by excessive dampness. It’s most likely to occur in those who are predisposed to dampness, particularly in damp climates.
Korea’s climate is primarily cold and damp. The native Korean diet includes a lot of spicy foods, such as kochu chang (a chili pepper sauce) and kim chee (cabbage pickled in chili). Spices have a drying effect that helps counteract the dampness. The diet also includes a lot of vegetables, which also helps reduce dampness.
The Western diet, on the other hand, tends to increase dampness. It includes much wheat and dairy products, which cause the body to produce excessive mucus (i.e., dampness). Fast foods make the problem worse: large amounts of meat with few vegetables also increase dampness.