How to Maintain Your Health During the Winter Solstice

When it gets cold, what is the best thing to do to avoid catching a winter chill? (Image: via  pixabay  /  CC0 1.0)
When it gets cold, what is the best thing to do to avoid catching a winter chill? (Image: via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

The principle for maintaining health during the winter solstice is to keep storing yang qi while protecting yin qi in the body. The intake of sodium should be reduced and life and work should be taken at a slower pace.  As the coldest time of the year has arrived, your body will slow down too. Appropriate dietary intake can enhance your body’s mechanism to fight against colds and bacteria. Beef, mutton, and chicken are good choices because these are warm meats in nature that work to nourish the organs.

Beef, mutton, and chicken are good choices because these are warm meats in nature that work to nourish the organs.(Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Beef, mutton, and chicken are good choices because these are warm meats in nature that work to nourish the organs. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Chicken

Ingredients:

  • chicken meat, 400-600 g
  • Chinese knotweed, 20-30 g
  • Chinese angelica, 20-30 g
  • goji berries

Slow cook to make into a soup.

Note that this soup is not suitable for people suffering from diarrhea.

Mutton

Ingredients:

  • mutton, one kilo
  • carrots
  • fresh bamboo shoots
  • chili
  • salt

Slow cook to stew for an hour.

Beef, mutton, and chicken

Ingredients:

  • beef, 50 g
  • mutton, 50 g
  • chicken, 50 g
  • cistanche 5 g, cuscuta 5 g, goji berries 10 g, all in a soup bag

Slow cook to make soup. Note that this soup is not suitable for people who have strong yang qi.

Vegetables

Cabbage is a must for winter meals because of its nutritional value. It contains more than 90 percent fiber as well as vitamins C and E, which serve to moisturize the skin and face, especially during dry days.

The vitamins in cabbage reduces bacterial infection. (Image: Willis Lam via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Cabbage is a must for winter meals because of its nutritional value. (Image: Willis Lam via flickr CC BY-SA 2.0)

Raw lotus root cools down blood and dissipates blood stasis. Cooked lotus root, on the other hand, nourishes the heart, stomach, and blood. When eaten together with jujube, its blood nourishing function is greatly enhanced. When stewed with meat, it works to recuperate the spleen and stomach.

The protein in sweet potatoes works to complement the protein in rice, which lacks calcium, and noodles, which are low in vitamin C.

Turnip can smoothen the airflow in the respiratory system and stop coughing. While all good for winter consumption, different types of turnips have different properties. Daikon replenishes and smoothens qi. Carrot nourishes the heart and blood, which makes it a good food choice for patients suffering from heart or blood problems. Green radishes clear heat and the liver. Summer radish is diuretic. Mutton and turnip together make a great choice for a winter dish.

Condiments

The choice of condiments is important. Spicy condiments are more suitable for cold months. Pepper, Chinese red pepper, chili, ginger, turmeric, and garlic serve to warm up the body.

Turmeric

Turmeric looks like ginger but does not have the hot and pungent spice that ginger has. It is used as a herb and medicine for its warming effect. Adding turmeric to dishes can promote appetite, stop menstrual pain, help blood circulation, and warm up the body.

Nicked-name the “medicine of herb”, cinnamon is hot in nature. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Nicknamed the ‘medicine of herb,’ cinnamon is hot in nature. (Image: pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Cinnamon

Nicknamed the “medicine of herb,” cinnamon is hot in nature. It warms up the stomach, gets rid of chills, stops pain, enables sweating, gently smooths meridian flow, and promotes blood circulation. The essential oil of cinnamon can stimulate gastric mucosal secretion and peristalsis. It improves metabolism and constipation for weak body-type women. Cinnamyl alcohol content can calm down the central nervous system and improve sleep quality.

Chinese red pepper

The main use of Chinese red peppers is to warm the stomach, improve appetite, and get rid of chills. That is why Northern Chinese enjoy spicy hot pot in winter. Chinese red peppers also work to strengthen teeth, blacken hair, and clear eyes. Hot in nature, it serves to stop pain and itch, detoxify, and improve immunity.

Translated by Cecilia and edited by Helen

Source: Secret China

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