Feeling Hungry? Winter Cravings Needing to be Met?
In Chinese medicine, kidney health is key all year round, but especially during winter.
Warming, slow-cooked foods like stews and soups are also important to support digestion and help keep you full, nourished and warm
Add extra heat with spices and pungent/sour flavours e.g; garlic, ginger and cinnamon
Vitamin-C rich foods are important for immunity during winter cold and flu season.
The cold weather may effect your overall digestion, therefore warm and nourishing foods are a must.
1. Kidney Kindness! :)
Keeping the kidneys happy in TCM is central to a homeostatic state – especially in winter, when yin is at its peak (most cold and dark time of year).
Winter is therefore an important time to eat foods that are especially nourishing to the kidneys, yin, and yang. Examples include black beans, seaweed, rice, leeks, pumpkin seeds, goji berries and broths with a pinch of sea salt. Think dark coloured foods and foods which resemble the shape of the kidneys (hello walnuts).
Don't forget water, add a slice of lemon to further aid in digestion or even add some boiling water to warm the water.
2. Nourishing and slow-cooked meals
Winter is a time of restoration, storage and regeneration. Slow and Steady Winters the race ;) ha ha
Think Hearty, slow-cooked meals.
Warm, easily digestible and Filling
For Example, broths, stews, soups. All nourishing and delicious choices and casseroles are good options too.
Choose cooked vegetables versus salad, as this may cause further cooling and in turn may damage your Yang "warming" energy in the body. Think sluggish digestion.
3. Turn up the Heat! Spices Anyone?
Chilli, ginger, horseradish or curry
Cinnamon, cardamom and rosemary.
Other cheeky winter warmers also include: mushrooms, leeks, nuts (especially walnuts, pine nuts and chestnuts), lamb, beef, anchovies, mussels and trout.
4. Hydration Loves the Kidneys!! Tea anyone?
Felling the hunger like Winnie the Pooh? Tea is a tearrific idea to keep the hunger at bay, even add some ginger (warmth).
Please note, Ginger should not be overconsumed, as this may create too much heat in the body such as hot flushes and insomnia!
Fun Fact: Ginger’s pungent flavour and warming nature; may boost circulation, stimulate your digestion and great for sinus issues!
Drink warm/room temperature beverages, you may also add honey or cinnamon for additional immune boosting abilities.
5. Eat Winter Foods
Eat seasonally savvy foods. For example, lets root for root vegetables. Examples include; beetroot, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots and swedes etc.
6. Fermented Foods
Support digestion and immunity via beneficial probiotic bacteria.
The sour flavour of these foods, aid in digestion of rich/heavy or fattier foods.
Also; kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, and pickled vegetables such as carrots, beetroots and cucumbers. These foods are both economical and great for storage over long periods.
7. Vitamin C-rich foods for Immunity
Oranges and other citrus, such as lemons, grapefruit, and mandarins
Red and green capsicum
Red and green chillies
I hope you found these Winter Dietary Tips with a Chinese Medicine twist, very healthful. Even if you make one little change, that may be just enough to inspire you! So, are you ready to spring into spring?!
Any Questions, Let me know at Northwood Clinic.
Happy to Help!