Nature has a way of providing us with what we need, when we need it. That’s especially
true when it comes to the foods that become available with each season. Autumn brings
with it a bounty of fruits, vegetables, and herbs that nourish the body and support health
and wellbeing. Being aware of seasonal foods and attuning your diet to your body’s
needs is a great way to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.
The harvest season is a time to prepare your body for the cold winter ahead. Your diet
should shift toward richer, denser foods that will provide you with extra energy and
warmth. Consider increasing your intake of protein, fats, and whole grains but be sure to
keep up your exercise program, to control weight gain.
Nourishing your immune system is also very important at this time. Take advantage of
dark green and goldenorange vegetables that are rich in betacarotene to strengthen the
body’s Wei Qi (immune system). These include carrots, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, kale,
mustard greens, and many more.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), it’s important to maintain the body’s balance
during this season by adding sour foods such as sauerkraut, leeks, yogurt, and sour
apples to your diet. Pungent foods such as garlic, turnips, and horseradish should also be
added to your autumn diet, since they cleanse and protect the lungs.
It’s also important to moderate your caffeine use this season. As autumn settles in, you
may notice yourself feeling a little more tired than usual and increasing your coffee intake
to boost your energy. Before you lift that next cup, consider making a healthy change and
switching from coffee to tea.
Tea has been found to have a variety of health benefits, including protecting against heart
disease and some types of cancer, reducing inflammation and blood pressure, and even
increasing bone density. Green and white teas contain especially high amounts of
antioxidants, which protect against cellular damage.
These are just simple suggestions. Consult with your acupuncturist or healthcare provider
reporting dietary changes you are considering.