The ancient Chinese believed that human beings should live in harmony with the natural cycles of their environment. The cold and darkness of winter urges us to slow down. This is the time of year to reflect on our health, replenish our energy and conserve our strength. Winter represents the most Yin (female) aspect in Chinese medicine.
Kidney weakness involves general physical weakness, as well as increased susceptibility to external and internal illnesses. The most common cause weakening the energy exchange of the kidneys are the strong demands on our body by our ‘civilized world’. Both mental and physical overexertion and stress often lead first to kidney weakness. Too much work under time pressure, a hasty, unbalanced and insufficient diet, and not enough time for rest and relaxation can weaken kidney energy within weeks or months. If such constant exhaustion is not balanced or taken care of, serious disorders can develop in the course of a few years. Other negative factors are excessive sexual activity and emotional factors such as fear or a sudden mental shock.
The foods to eat during Winter are the ones that naturally grow during this season –
- root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, potato)
- winter greens
- citrus fruits
In the Winter our body needs warm foods – so soups made from vegetables and rich stocks with animal bones are nourishing. Specific foods to nourish and warm the Kidneys include black beans, kidney beans, bone broths, lamb, chicken, walnuts, chestnuts, black sesame seeds, and dark leafy greens. A small amount of unrefined sea salt added to home-cooked foods is also helpful since the taste associated with the Kidney organ is “salty.”
So look after yourself this winter and stay warm (neck and feet particularly).
© Haynes Acupuncture Gold Coast