Here at Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast we share with you our views on eating with the seasons. Quite often we are perplexed about what food is in season or when we should be eating different foods as we can go to the grocery store and get just about anything all year round. Food when eaten during the season it grows in is most beneficial for digestion and healthier nutrition wise. In the same way that in the middle of summer you wouldn’t sit down to eat a hearty stew or on a cold winter’s day eat a salad straight from the fridge. It wouldn’t feel right, would it?
We will explain in following a brief overview of flavours, temperatures and direction of foods to cook by in the seasons. At the end there is a specific article on each season.
Energy in food (temperature)
According to TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) different foods have different types of energies associated with them. Food can either be warm and hot, which heats up the body and rises upwards or it can be cool and cold, which cools down the body and sinks down through the body. The best combination for a healthier and more balanced diet is to combine gentle and warm foods, and avoid or eat in moderation the extreme hot or cold foods. If you are a person who finds they are always hot, perhaps consider eating cool and warm foods but avoid hot. Similarly, if you are someone who finds that they are always cold, consider eating warm and hot foods to increase your bodies heat.
Flavours of food
Different flavours correspond to a particular organ that bring benefits and strengthens the organ.
- Sweet food go to the spleen
- Salty food go to the kidneys
- Pungent foods go to the lungs
- Sour foods go to the liver
- Bitter foods go to the heart
A balanced diet does not necessarily mean that you must eat all flavours equally. It actually means that you consume more sweet foods (in nature, not sugar) and have small amounts of all the other flavours daily. Moderation is key for each flavour, too much of any one flavour can be damaging on the body.
Direction of food
In TCM the direction in which certain foods move throughout our bodies can help to heal the body. Different foods have different energies and that determines which way foods move. It is also a combination of flavour and temperature that also helps to guide the direction of food. For example:
- Hot and pungent moves out
- Sweet and warm foods move up
- Cool and salty or sour foods move down
- Cold and bitter foods move in
The direction of foods matter because it helps to bring balance back into the body according to the season and any physically issues a person may have within their body. When using direction of food as a healing method, the foods should move in the opposite direction to the area that is the problem – e.g. upward moving foods are helpful for diarrhoea. As well as food that moves down can ease vomiting, hiccuping and asthma. For example, an elderly woman experiencing knee pain would eat upward moving food to balance out her body.
Seasonality of foods
All the different variables and factors are important within our diet to ensure we are eating seasonally and as balanced as possible. By eating this way we strengthen our digestion and ensure we are healthier. It is just as important to ensure we are eating foods that are in season. Click on the links to find out what foods are in season in