by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
When eating along with the seasons, there are two elements that should be taken into account. The “nature” of the food and the “flavor” of the food. The nature of the food refers to the foods innate temperature ie: cold, hot, warm, cool or neutral. Eating a moderate amount of all flavors sweet, salty, pungent, bitter and sour can help to keep your body balanced and regulated.
Salty taste is attributed to the kidney and urinary bladder, therefore adding some salty foods in your diet during Winter can improve the kidney and bladder function. Consider burdock root, eggs, fish, miso soup, nuts, tofu, and sea vegetables such as arame, hiziki, kelp, kombu and wakame.
In winter, it is important to eat foods that warm the body’s core and keep it nourished. Use cooking methods such as steaming, roasting, stir frying or poaching in order to heat the food all the way through.
Avoid raw foods, which are cold in nature such as salads, cold fruits, ice (especially in drinks), ice cream and raw vegetables as these tend to cool the body.
Consider eating these food for Winter:
1. Warm hearty soups and healthy lean meat and root vegetable stews, whole grains, and roasted nuts.
2. Cereals, grains, and legumes: brown rice, corn, millet, oatmeal, sorghum, soybeans, black gram, adzuki bean, red kidney bean, broad bean.
3. Meat, poultry and fish: chicken, turkey, shrimp, carp, eel, chicken eggs.
4. Root vegetables such as yams, sweet potatoes, yucca, potatoes, beets, turnips, ginger, ginseng, taro, burdock, carrots, parsnips, as well as, onions, chives, scallions, garlic, leeks, common mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, mitake and reishi.
5. Herbs, spices, condiments, oils such as perilla leaf, peppermint, dandelion, honeysuckle flower, basil, parsley, wolfberry (gou gi berries), fleece-flower root, licorice, astragalus, rhubarb, ginger, pepper, honey, sesame oil.