About the importance of eating and cooking in Chinese culture you can read in „Huang Dii Nei Jing“, Yellow Emperor´s Inner Classic. There is a saying medicine and food share the same origin. Difference between food and medicine actually does not exist only the way when you gone take it makes its difference: „Taking when hungry it is food eating when suffering its medicine“ If you are able to have a good balanced food it is like you treat diseases before it arises. This is the main message of Sun Simiao a famous daoist healer in Chinese culture. Master Sun create the „Yangshen“ nurturing live where the dietetics plays a main rule beside herbal medicine and bodily energy exercises (Qi Gong). Sun Simiao is also the founder of the famous Qi Gong „Five animal play“ (Wu Qin Xi). Sun Simiao statement of medical intervention offers some general ideas and rules about the effects of vegetable, grains fruits and animals substances on the human body.
Perfect control of Tiger and Dragon (Yin/Yang) the great Sun Simiao is showing:
Sun Simiao advises on dietetic :
The reason for the presence of increased sickness in the body is always related to the excessive consumption of cold substances and by immoderate eating and drinking in the spring and summer. Furthermore, fish, minced fish, and malodorous and cold substances mostly harm a person. To stop taking them is of great benefit. Frequent consumption of milk, koumiss, and similar substances gives a person strength in the sinews, great courage, and a body glistening with health. But if eaten in excess, they can also cause upper abdominal distention and diarrhea and gradually cause damage.
If we can avoid harm, there is no need for toxic drugs or harsh interventions because disease will never break out in the first place. Of course you have to understand he meaning of five element food their action to come to reach the points like the advices are showing.
An other quote of the great Daoist Sun Simiao:
Cultivate disposition to preserve health