Find recipes to help keep your body in sync with mother nature all year round by encouraging awareness of your diet based on your body’s specific constitution.
Winter in TCM represents maximum Yin energy, which is dark, cold, quiet and introspective. It’s the opposite of summer, or Yang, energy, which is hot, outward, light and sociable. Winter is related to the kidneys, which are our root and most fundamental energy sources starting from conception to old age.
Winter Associations in TCM
Flavors: Acrid, pungent
Focusing on more soups and stews, grains, winter squashes and root vegetables will better balance our bodies with the season and prevent digestive and cold issues that arise from too many cooling foods.
Eating Guidelines for Winter
- A basic guide to foods that are best for winter include those that grow best during the season (see below!)
- It’s best to eat cooked vegetables, especially with warming seasonings like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, pepper, turmeric, garlic and onions.
- Other kidney energy-supporting foods include kidney beans (shape mirrors the kidney!) and black beans.
- Cook foods on low heat for a longer period of time. This helps lock in moisture and heat to keep your body warm and metabolize easier.
- Salt (iodized sea salt is good) should be used sparingly, as too much salt (sodium) can damage the kidney energy if over used for extended periods of time.
- Learn all about eating guidelines for winter in this post!
Vegetables for Winter
- Winter squash
- Green leafy vegetables
- Root vegetables
Fruits and Spices for Winter
- Black Beans