In Traditional Chinese Medicine, in order to maintain health and keep our bodies in balance, it’s important that we focus on eating according to the season. During the colder winter months, we can keep our bodies warm and support our qi by eating warm, nourishing foods. Winter is said to correspond to the element of water and to the kidneys, so we especially need to keep our kidneys strong during this time because that is where our bodies store our energy reserves. We can counteract the cold of winter and re-balance warmth with these foods:
☯ Warm foods: Avoid cold foods and beverages like smoothies made with frozen fruit, cereal with cold milk, or cold salads. Instead, eat warm foods such as porridge, soups, roasted vegetables, toasted bread, and eggs.
☯ Fermented vegetables: Eat sauerkraut, pickles, kimchi, and kombucha which all promote gut health. Also, the sour flavor cuts fat and helps with digestion of rich foods.
☯ Healthy fats: Stay away from fried foods or any packaged/processed foods. Instead, focus on healthy fats like butter, olive oil, coconut oil, whole-fat organic coconut milk, and ghee.
☯ Sugar: Avoid ice cream for satisfying sugar cravings, and try baked fruit like apples or pears with a warm spice like cinnamon instead.
☯ Kidney-nourishing foods: To supplement your blood, qi, and yang during the winter months, eat foods such as beans, walnuts, mushrooms, kale, bone broth, cloves, chestnuts, chicken, beef, and lamb.