Do you suffer from bloating, retention of fluids, puffy eyes, or shortness of breath? Are you always chilled, over tired, and wanting a good day?
Modern nutrition is based on knowing the chemical composition of foods and the biochemical pathways of the body. Foods are categorized as proteins, carbohydrates, and fats accordingly.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) looks at food and life quite differently. It is based on the energy of the food, the season of year, and tries to achieve a balance between the two following the theory of Yin and Yang.
It works very simply. When a person is feeling cold, choosing food and drinks that are warming will help regain strength and vitality. A cold, raw salad isn’t the answer.
The Theory of Yin and Yang is a corner stone of TCM. The forces of Yin and Yang are energetic qualities that shape everything in the universe including our health.
The symbol of Yin and Yang is circle divided into two shapes with the dark shape representing the Yin and the light side symbolizing the Yang. This theory of Yin and Yang is based on patterns that occur in nature: night and winter are the yin that balance the yang of day and summer.
YIN AND YANG FOODS
Given the knowledge that yin is cooling and yang is warming, it makes sense that these qualities in food and activities would benefit our ability to process food and fuel our bodies more efficiently. This enhances our own ability to heal.
When a cooling pattern occurs (winter), warming aerobic exercise is essential. Healing food choices include warm beef or lamb dishes, meat-based soups and stews, trout and wild salmon. Warming vegetables include cooked root veggies, baked winter squash, onions, lightly cooked greens including broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, and kale. Nuts and seeds are warming as are cinnamon, garlic, ginger, and pepper.
When a warming pattern occurs (summer), meditation, walks in nature, swimming, and yoga are ideal for balancing the agitating nature of a heat imbalance. Cooling foods include salads, cucumber, melons, pears, beans, sushi, and non-spicy foods. Vegetables of all kinds are helpful whereas meats should be limited.
Summer foods and activities are naturally different than winter. When you pay attention to your body and choose the foods and activities that seem to naturally balance us during these seasons, our ability to maintain health is enhanced.