Eating with the five seasons

Yes you heard correctly. In Chinese Medicine there are five seasons: Spring, Summer, Late Summer, Autumn and Winter.

According to Chinese Dietary Therapy, foods have a warming or cooling nature, as well as a moistening or drying effect on the body. Food is often considered to be medicinal, for example for the pattern of toxic heat the traditional advice is to eat radishes. For liver heat (which alcoholics can contribute to) a glass of celery and carrot juice might help. If you have phlegm symptoms, you can try cutting back on the dairy as this is said to cause dampness in the body.

The cooking method you use can also influence the effects the food will have in the body. Think about when you roast food, it becomes heating and drying. Steaming or poaching food on the other hand preserves moisture in the body. Fluids are best consumed at room temperature or warmer for optimal digestive function.

Most importantly your body will usually tell you what you can and cannot eat. In the era of food intolerances and inflammatory (including auto-immue) disease I can assure you that what you put into your body forms the building blocks for your health and well being. Whether this means you are into low FODMAP, paleo, organic, gut healing, vegetarian or are still lucky enough to eat whatever you like is very much an individual decision.

Further Reading: Recipes for Self-Healing by Daverick Leggett



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