It’s that time of year again where we put on our cozy sweaters, huddle indoors, and indulge in the festive flavors of the season. But what should we eat to nourish the body for the coming spring?
The colder months are perfect for slowing down, resting, and becoming introspective. And the foods we eat also play a critical role in the conservation and rebuilding of energy this time of year.
When you think of autumn and winter, think of warm foods.
Soups, roasted vegetables, and slow cooker meals are excellent ways to nourish and rebuild the body’s energy and immune system. Foods also contain different energetic properties. For that reason, in addition to warming food through preparation, it is important to eat foods that are warm in quality as well.
Here are some guidelines for choosing foods, based in the principles of traditional Chinese medicine.
· The slower it grows, the warmer it is. This includes root vegetables, fennel, spring onion, cabbage, and winter squash.
· Choose reds, oranges, and yellows. Foods that are warm in color also warm the body. Examples are red apples (rather than green), cherries, corn, pumpkin, and red meat. But don’t be fooled by bell peppers, tomatoes, and bananas. These are actually cold in nature.
· Keep it spicy. Ginger, garlic, nutmeg, cinnamon, onion, turmeric, and cloves are some of the wonderful spices available for the colder months. Any spices that taste warm are warming to the body.
· No to raw foods. While smoothies and salads are packed with nutrients, these cold foods are too hard on the body this time of year if consumed consistently. A general rule is to have 75% of foods be cooked and warm.
Bonus: Ginger-Carrot Soup
One of the most delicious flavor combinations I know of is carrot and ginger. Ginger is a wonderful digestive aid that strengthens the upper GI lining, reduces nausea and vomiting, and has strong anti-inflammatory effects, The carotenes in carrots strengthen the immune system and help maintain healthy skin and hair.
Thoughts and practical tips to help you look and feel your best based in the wisdom of Chinese medicine.
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