Eating Wisely for Winter With the Holistic View of Chinese Medicine

Hot and spicy soups  enliven your spirits in winter. (Image: 123rf_yaryhee_cc)
Hot and spicy soups enliven your spirits in winter. (Image: 123rf_yaryhee_cc)

Your body is connected to the natural cycle of the seasons . Therefore, for optimum health, you benefit from eating seasonally and following nature’s cues. In winter, you need to rug up and eat warming foods!

In traditional Chinese medicine, winter is strongly associated with yin energy (female) and water. During winter, your energy moves down, settles, and condenses. This calls you to slow down and conserve your strength.

Many animals survive through hibernation, and you preserve your energy and become more home-bound too. In the cold and darker months, you need to replenish your energy, and prepare for the burst of new life in spring. You can support this process through a fortifying winter diet.

Eating wisely for winter

  • Eat warming foods, such as slow cooked soups and stews with warming garlic and ginger. Avoid raw foods, which have a cooling effect on the body.
  • Eat wholesome, slow burning foods, such as whole-grains, root vegetables, beans, and nuts. Meats that build yang energy (warming) are lamb, chicken, and trout. Limit sugary foods, which are yin (cooling).
  • If you are reducing your activity, reduce your food intake to avoid gaining too many pounds.
  • Christmas celebrations for some involve alcohol; however, Li Shi-Zhen, a forefather of Chinese medicine, warns that more than a small amount of wine is detrimental to your health.

Winter is a time for contemplation and deep conversations beside the fireplace, while hugging warming beverages.

Cozy Christmas gatherings with close friends and family are what winter is all about, so soak up the winter cheer and Seasons Greetings!

 

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