Before supermarkets and imported goods from around the world, we used to eat what was available to us. Local and seasonal.
Thanks to supermarkets and globalization, most people who buy food, expect and think it’s OK to eat all types of fruit and veg all year round.
Whilst I would love to eat bananas and carrots all year round, it’s actually not that great for my body.
The sad truth about our modern lifestyles is that we have become disconnected from our food. We have forgotten where our food comes from, the time it takes to grow, the love and nurturing it requires, and what the earth naturally supplies to us during various times of the year.
We have become more concerned about calories and macro-nutrients than the energy in foods, and their health benefits to our bodies and our cells.
There are many cultures, diets, and beliefs around what foods are good for you and when; but for me, seasonal eating is what resonates with me the most. I find it naturally occurs when I go on holiday to a sunny and warm place. I naturally want to eat less and lighter cooling foods.
People of the land as well as ancient traditions, understand that there is an interwoven connection with our food, the earth, the moon and the seasons.
So let’s understand the elements of foods from the philosophies of Chinese medicine.
We have 4 energies in food: Hot, Warm, Cold, and Cool
These categories define the nature and the intensity of energy released in the human system when food is digested.
- Hot and warm foods are for stimulating and generating heat; Yang
- Cool and cold foods are for calming and cooling the organs.Yin
Hot/warm foods = generate heat = colder months
Cold/cool foods = cooling = warmer months.
There is also the 5 Flavours based on the five elements
If you combine the elements with the energies you create a therapeutic way of healing for your body and organs.
According to Daniel Reid “warm and hot Yang foods stimulate the vital organs, generate body heat and are recommended for winter consumption”.
If you are unsure of what foods are seasonal, head to your local farmers market, your organic store and you will see what is being sold. You can also look at buying some reading material for the kitchen and learn more about seasonal fruits, veg and herbs.
As we are in October let’s take a look at some warming foods.
Apples – Basil – Beets – Broccoli – Brussel Sprouts – Cabbage – Cauliflower – Chicory – Carrots – Chiles – Collard Greens – Cucumber – Eggplant (Aubergine) – Figs – Grapes – Kale – Leeks – Melons – Parsley – Pears – Pumpkins – Radishes – Rosemary – Sage – Shallots – Spinach – Squash – Sweet Potatoes – Quince – Onion – Thyme – Tomatoes – Zucchini (Courgette)
Next time you head out for your food shop, leave those bananas for summer, and check out what is being supplied to you from your local producers.
Also remember that where you are located will vary on what is available to you and what is locally produced.
No matter what foods you choose to eat, what nutrition plan you follow, remember that the energy you put into your body nourishes your cells and your organs.
Food is thy medicine 🙂
Time for pumpkin pie and some leek soup if you ask me!
For seasonal foods click here to see a foods chart.
Daniel Reid- author of the Tao of Health, Sex & Longevity.