Harvest Time for Healthy Food

Just as we are harvesting food in preparation for winter, your body’s task during the late summer season is to harvest energy and build the immune system for the upcoming taxing months.

It is time to put aside the cooling raw foods of summer, which require more energy to digest. It is time to shift to warming cooked foods, which tax the digestive system less, leaving energy (chi) to be harvested for the immune system and other bodily functions.

Cold and Flu is Not a Season

Winter is a season in which colds and flu critters that are ever present in our world tend to gain a foothold because most people’s immune systems are weakened by internal and external pressures.

Have you noticed how some people seem to be exposed to all the same colds and flus yet rarely get sick? Their immune systems are operating at full strength.

Now is the time to invest in that ounce of prevention for a strong immune system this winter.

Nature Shows the Way

Nature is showing us the way with the foods that are ripening and ready for harvest. This is the time of year to eat “nature’s bread” — the complex carbohydrates of squashes and root vegetables that are abundant during the harvest months.

These foods are a bit of a paradox. They break down slowly, yet they are easy on the gut, meaning they don’t tax the body’s energy system to break them down. 

In Chinese Medicine the digestive system gives the energy to the lungs, which are susceptible to the colds and flus.  By eating the foods that do not tax the gut in the digestion process more energy is banked in the immune system.

Late Summer Grocery List

As with all seasons, the best way to know what to eat is to follow Mother Nature’s lead.

Late summer foods are foods of early fall colors — oranges and yellows. It is the foods of complex carbohydrates — squashes, pumpkins, root vegetables and complex grains.  Foods that benefit the lungs are also often white and according to Chinese Medicine ‘pungent’ or spicy in flavor.

So, here’s your late summer grocery list:

  • Pumpkins
  • Squash
  • Yams
  • Potatoes
  • Millett
  • Rice
  • Quinoa 
  • Fresh ginger root
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Fennel root
  • Radish
  • Mustard

Enjoy the season!

Photo Credits: Mike Mozart

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