Monday, October 19, 2009

Food for Balance

Come fall, my body craves pumpkin soup, roasted root vegetables, casseroles, sauteed greens, stews...comfort food for chilly days. Gone are spring green salads, fresh tomatoes, asparagus, peaches and corn. We naturally move toward warmer foods when the temperature drops. When we listen to our bodies, we can adjust our diets to correspond to the change in seasons and balance internal energy. As Yin emerges in the fall and grows through winter, our bodies need warm, Yang food. Think spices like ginger, green onion, garlic and cayenne. Try sipping on warm beverages, and cooking your food a little more to help fuel your internal furnace. You'll leave the table feeling energized and nourished, and if you choose your food wisely, you can help boost your immune system and maintain your health.

An indispensable book on the virtues of food as medicine, both to maintain health and treat illness, is Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition, by Paul Pitchford. It's a mainstay for acupuncturists and could benefit anyone interested in the healing power of food.

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