What is Chinese Food Therapy for the Spring?
by Leah Fifield L.Ac.
Spring is the time of year when we experience new beginnings. As our environment begins to warm and thaw, we naturally move from a period of hibernation to an outburst of upward growth.
Tulips begin to poke out of the ground!
Green plant shoots appear!
You can almost hear our collect sigh of relief once green plant life shows itself. Spring is here!
So what does this have to do with acupuncture and Chinese medicine?
Chinese medicine believes that human beings are subject to the same cycles that occur in nature; essentially our outward environment affects and reflects our inward environment.
Take for example a cold, snowy day. What would feel comforting to do on such a day? What kind of food would you be hungry for? It is natural and healthy to want to keep warm and do quiet activities like sit in front of a fire or read a good book during the winter. Slow-cooked, warming food and drink like soup flavored with ginger, garlic and black pepper or a mug of sweet and spicy chai are healthy choices that feed our bodies well during the cold months.
But Spring is different! We feel energized! We want to get outside! Take a walk! Go to the lake! Ride a bike! Our physical activity is different than during the winter, and our nutritional needs are different.
Organ Season Color Taste Emotion Sensory
Liver Spring Green Sour Anger Eyes
In Chinese medicine each internal organ is associated with a season, color, taste, emotion and sensory organ. These are clues as to how to keep healthy and energized during this time of year. So let’s follow these clues and see where they lead us.
There are a lot of local, fresh GREEN veggies that pop up at the farmer’s market and grocery store during the spring. Just think of the bounty that the earth provides us: asparagus, green beans, spinach, kale, collards, bok choy, dandelion, mint, and many more. These foods provide us with the proper nutrient dense nutrition our bodies seek in the spring.
And then there’s SOUR. Lemons, limes, grapes, kumquats, rhubarb, apple cider vinegar, unsweetened yogurt, fermented vegetables, kombucha, sourdough bread- all these foods have a sour taste that Chinese medicine teaches will strengthen and soothe our Livers.
But why would do we need to care about our LIVERS?
Chinese medicine believes our Livers are responsible for healthy flow and distribution of internal fluids, particularly blood. Got cold hands and feet? How about tight muscles due to lack of adequate blood flow? Treating your Liver can help.
Do you get IRRITABLE OR ANGRY? Have trouble unwinding from the day’s activities? How about difficulty going with the flow and letting negative experiences roll off your back? Then it’s time to focus on your Liver.
By keeping your Liver healthy you can prevent EYE issues including blurry vision, red or dry eyes, and itchy eyes.
Want to learn more? Grab your kale and join me, Leah Fifield, L.Ac. & Alexander Young NTP for a fun and informative discussion about Chinese Food Therapy for the Spring on Wednesday, March 29th from 7-9:00pm at NE Community Acupuncture and Wellness Canter. Hope to see you there!