Winter Wellness; Food as Medicine
WINTER WELLNESS : Flavors for the Winter Season:
Both salty foods and Bitter flavored foods are appropriate for Winter since they promote a sinking, centering quality which heightens the capacity to store. These foods tend to cool the exterior of the body and bring heat to a more deeper and lower level. This makes you feel cold less. However, you should always use salt with care. Excess salt can tighten the water organs (kidneys and bladder), which can reverse the process and cause a coldness and over consumption of water. This can weaken these organs and also the heart. Providing protection for the heart-mind in the Winter can be accomplished by adding more bitter foods since their essence and flavor is said to enter the heart. They are also a great accompaniment to stimulate digestive enzymes in the mouth.
Most common bitter foods are not wholly bitter but part bitter and other flavors. These foods include lettuce, watercress, endive, escarole, turnip, celery, asparagus, alf alfa, carrot tops, rye, oats quinoa, and amaranth. Let me tell you, as my patients will, that the bitterest taste lie in the herbal field. Common examples of such foods are chicory root, burdock root, horsetail and chaparral.
Salty foods include miso, soy sauce, seaweeds, salt, millet, barley and the addition of salt to any foods. Salt is over used in any typical western diet, whilst it is obvious with the over processing of our foods that bitterness is under represented for marketing purposes. Strong doses of bitter foods are not required except in cases of certain imbalances. Small regular amounts in Winter nurture deep inner experiences and preserve the JOY in your HEART.
After acclimatizing the body to the WINTER season with appropriate cooking methods and the addition of salty and bitter foods, the cold person may still feel cold due to a lack of warming potential (Yang) in the body. It is essential that the warming foods pictured yesterday be added to the winter diet. A little subjection of a healthy body to Winter Wild nourishes the kidney –adrenal function, but excess cold and the cold body can weaken it……