In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), nutrition applies healing properties of foods to correct disharmonies within the body. Nutrition is a most important aspect of Traditional Chinese Medicine. TCM deals on an energetic level where balance is the key; this includes one’s food source (or nutrition). Energetic qualities of foods can be warming, cooling, drying or lubricating. These qualities are ascertained by the specific inherit qualities determined by the food’s effect on the body. The method of preparation enhances or neutralizes the food. For example warming foods increase metabolism and cooling them lowers it. Balance is the key: if one were to only have warming food exclusively, their body would be in a state of increased metabolism; this would over heat the body, it could lead to coagulation of blood and or fluids within the body would then have a blockage. This blockage could lead to pain, illness, fatigue or numerous other consequences. This is why having a balanced nutrition is key.
Autumn is the Metal element in TCM: During this season we look to the following colors and tastes to guide our nourishment of the LUNG and LARGE INTESTINE.
We are upon the season of dryness, Autumn where the Lung and Large Intestine meridians rule. During this beautiful season one should increase their fluid enhancing foods however not in excess…listen to your body, recognize signs such as dry mouth, feeling thirsty (yes, these are 2 different things!), regular bowel movements (large intestine), skin issues. Having too much or too little of fluid enhancing nutrition can cause quick outcomes in these areas particularly during Fall. So yes drink your water! In whatever form you require….water, teas, soups, in your fruits and veggies.
Autumn foods that nourish the Lung are white in color and pungent in taste; such as:
White: beans, almonds, radish, pears, onion, cauliflower
Pungent: Ginger, garlic, cinnamon and mint
Above all, balance is the key!
The taste of pungent has particular functions that assist with the body’s flowing of meridians during this season:
- it is dispersing, which keeps exterior pathogens out of our bodys (ie. Flu and cold)
- dispersing quality also acts to open the pores and promote seating, to expel the pathogen from the body
- It’s function of invigorating is to promote circulation of QI, blood and body fluids