Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring forward and revitalize your health with traditional Chinese nutrition

spring 

With bright green sprouts pushing through the melting snow and with the warmth of the sun on our pale winter skin, we all feel the shift in our bodies that the spring season brings. In order to feel our best throughout the year, we must respond to the environmental changes with nutritional and habitual changes of our own. Spring is the beginning of things. It is a time of revitalization, growth, vitality and yang energy. The element of spring is wood, which, when simplified, corresponds to the liver, gallbladder, tendons, muscles, eyes and emotions like anger, stagnation and frustration. 

TCM Spring Nutrition

Meals should be light, and one should begin to eat less or even fast to cleanse from the fats and heavier foods of winter. Spring is the time for fresh, raw, sprouted foods. These young, green plants are high in yang energy and promote ascension and expansion. These include fresh greens and sprouts like fiddleheads, spinach, kale, nettles, bok choy and broccoli. Other vegetables to emphasize in the spring are asparagus, peas, artichokes, fava beans, garlic, green onions, morels, mushrooms, spring onions, cabbage and kohlrabi.

Raw foods and sprouts encourage renewal and clear heat. From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, even in spring an all raw diet is not ideal, because excessive raw foods weaken digestion. The emphasis instead is placed on a balanced diet that looks at the nutrition, preparation and energy of foods and uses them as tools to acclimate to the surrounding climate and support the organs that need it. Spring foods should be cooked for short periods of time, in fast sautes, mild simmers and light steams. As it is best to rest early, it is also best not to eat late.

Use sweet and pungent foods to create an internal spring, expansion and rising. Honey and pungent herbs, like mint, are traditional spring tonics. Additional desirable pungent herbs are basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, dill and bay leaf. Sweet, starchy, young vegetables like beets and carrots are refreshing and beneficial.

For the rest of the story: http://www.naturalnews.com/044303_Traditional_Chinese_Medicine_spring_nutrition.html

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