Fall Foods to Cultivate Health


✍️Wendy Brown, Lic. Ac.

With chill in the air it is of particular importance to recognize our need for nourishing foods. Along with the cold, autumn brings the seasonal influence of dryness. Fall is a time of contraction; when our bodies and the natural surroundings tighten and contract to maintain warmth. Rather than salads, raw juices, and foods that are chilled, which appeal in summer and late summer seasons, in transitioning to fall it becomes essential that our food be nourishing, grounding, and that it secure warmth within.

eating in autumnIn fall we build our bodily stores for winter. Nuts are good food and whole grains such as millet and sweet rice are a must. Paramount in autumn are roasted root vegetables such as parsnip, sweet potato, beets, turnip, rutabaga, leeks, and carrots, which provide nourishing starches, vitamins, build protein-rich stores, and offer a balanced warming nature that is especially beneficial now. Winter squashes offer similar nourishment to that of root vegetables. Cooking methods of roasting, stewing, sautéing, and mashing offer plenty of versatility in the preparation of root vegetables and winter squashes. Ripened pears and persimmon are autumn’s perfect medicinal fruit offerings which nourish and replenish the yin of the lungs and stomach, bringing balance to the effects of seasonal dryness.

With there always being a fine line between nourishing and clogging the body, it is best to keep food portions reasonably light and to cook everything well now, and throughout the upcoming more inactive season of winter to therefore enhance digestion. Nourishment from food is the source of strengthening Wei Qi which wards externally pernicious wind invasion and prevents colds and flu from setting in. This is now the time to reduce coffee and other stimulant foods. In the phase of autumn, slowing down, building reserves, and grounding for the eventuality of winter, we remain in rhythm with the expectations of the season, and continue regardless of the excesses of the season, to cultivate good health and wisdom.

With all best wishes for

good health and well being

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