Eat For Spring according to Classical Chinese Medicine

Posted by on Apr 7, 2014 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Eat For Spring according to Classical Chinese Medicine

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Asparagus, greens, spring(Image: “Asparagus” by SOMMAI/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Spring is finally here! Even though the temperatures are still colder than we’d like, it’s clear that the spring is here. The days are longer and the sounds of birds can be heard clearly.

A fundamental of every traditional medicine, including the Chinese, is that humans need to be aligned with nature and the natural environment which means adapting habits and activities according to the changes in the seasons and in nature.
For every season there are recommended activities and specific nutritional requirements.

Spring is the time when nature renews and rejuvenates itself emerging from the slow activities of winter. Green begins to emerge as the dominant colour. The corresponding organ in our body is the Liver. As the liver is responsible for cleaning blood and removing toxins from the system, it plays a vital function in keeping the immune system healthy and strong. Spring is also the time for us to get back to increasing our physical activity which is in sync with the role of the liver in controlling the function and flexibility of the muscles and tendons we use to move our body.

Generally speaking, our spring diet should be rich with the things that resonate with the springtime energies: vegetables (especially green leafy ones), sprouts, and fresh fruits.

When it comes to food groups, the following are most recommended for the season:
Grains – Spelt, rye, oat and wheat. (35% of the meal)
Legumes – Peas, Mung-beam. (5%-20%)
Vegetables – All green leafs, green onion, leak, artichoke, asparagus, aromatic herbs such as parsley, coriander and dill and root vegetables like radish, daikon and even leak.

(Vegetables ideally make up 50% of the meal with 5%-10% of the meal should containing protein, though it’s recommended not to overeat animal protein. Easier to digest and more appropriate for spring are fish, chicken, and chicken liver. If you are able to, it’s a great time to cut out all animal protein. Combining grains and legumes in the same meal provide the perfect protein.)
Healthy fats such as avocado, nuts and sesame can be added to meals as well as sea vegetables such as Wakame and Spirulina.
Spices – Aromatic ones: curcumin, star anise, hours-radish, fennel seeds, rosemary, and mint.

Cooking methods should also be attuned to spring energies. Cooking times should be faster. Rather than the stews and soups we had during winter, we now want to do more juicing, steaming, wok cooking and sautéing.

Enjoy your cooking and have a blooming and sunny season!

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