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Winter From the Perspective of Chinese Medicine

From the Chinese Tradition, which deals with Yin and Yang and the Five Elements, we learn that the winter period is connected with the water element. In nature, we can observe how the space energy drops down, the leaves of the trees fell, and tree sap withdrew to the roots. Days are cold and nights long. People should reduce their activity and relax. Nowadays, artificial lighting significantly shortens long winter evenings. Yet we should sleep, relax and meditate even more and spend more time in the circle of our loved ones. It is important to protect the kidneys and the bladder (the organs of the water element) with warm clothing and a diet rich in protein, choosing warm foods and spices.
Food should be cooked longer in the winter months. It is advisable to include more meat or eggs, fish, and legumes accompanied by root vegetables. Warm food 2 or 3 times a day boosts immunity and strengthens the ability to withstand cold. We can also to a reasonable extent enjoy baked and fried foods, cakes and compotes with warm spices.

Salty taste belongs to the element of water. To a lesser extent, we should include seaweed (which have a positive effect on the kidneys), fish and seafood. A salty taste softens and eliminates blockages. However, excessive amounts of salt contained in cheeses, sausages and semi-finished products of lower quality, damage the kidneys. Due to reduced physical activity in the winter months, we can stimulate chi by occasional consumption of mulled wine with spices or warm mead.

What foods should we avoid in winter?

We should avoid eating food and drinks directly from the refrigerator. Salads, tropical fruit, ice cream, and a diet that contains many refined sugars and is so typical of Christmas time is not appropriate.

Foods suitable for winter:

lamb, beef, poultry and duck meat
legumes (especially small beans adzuki),
long-term warming spices (anise, cloves, fennel, turmeric, ginger)
caviar, oyster, seaweed,
pickled cabbage, pickled vegetables
walnuts, edible chestnuts, sunflower seeds, black sesame,
salt, soy sauce,
red wine

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