Now that the cold weather of winter advances, when nature becomes dormant and conserves its energy, it is time to change our daily diet accordingly to stay in balance with the season. In TCM, this means choosing more high calorie healthy foods to preserve yang qi (hot energy), and black foods which correspond to the element of water in The Five Element Theory to protect the kidneys. Here are some suggestions to keep qi in harmony with nature through winter.
- Sesame seeds, longan fruit, black beans, kelp, and dark mushrooms benefit kidneys
- Pork, lamb, fish, eggs, beans, organic milk and hard cheeses are good choices for high protein foods in winter
- Use warming spices, such as cinnamon, black pepper and a little ginger
- Medicinal herbs which can be added to soups are beneficial to conserve energy and promote blood circulation – choose ginseng, Chinese wolfberries, astragalus root and cordyceps
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- To prevent an overload of yang energy in heavy meat based meals, add a few more cooling yin foods, such as turnip, celery and cabbage