As we approach a new year in the Chinese calendar, it's a good time to think about what we put into our body in order to stay healthy. If you're in the northern hemisphere, it's winter, and you want to stay warm.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine it is believed that we should eat warming foods during cold weather and avoid raw cold foods or things like ice cream. Cooked foods will help to keep the body warm and are also beneficial for digestion. Cold contracts, which may make digestion difficult, causing cramps, diarrhea or constipation. It may also make arthritic pain worse.
This is not saying you cannot have a salad in the winter, just make sure you also have something warm with it such as soup or a cooked meal.
Below are a few ingredients to add to your meals to help keep you warm.
Spicy Cinnamon for Warmth!
Cinnamon in Traditional Chinese Medicine is said to add warmth to the meridians, joints, and the body. Add cinnamon to your oatmeal, toast, yogurt or smoothie this winter. You can also find teas with cinnamon.
Ginger is another herb used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to add warmth to the body. It also aids in digestion, relieves nausea and morning sickness. It also warms up the lungs and helps them expel phlegm. You can add ginger to stir fries and miso soup. Ginger tea with lemon and honey is delicious on a cold winter day.
Miso Soup for Breakfast?
I love having a bowl of miso soup in the morning to help warm me up. Sometimes I will just have a cup of it. Other times when I am feeling more productive I will add cooked carrots, onions, and tofu.
Miso is also a wonderful source of probiotics. If you feel you are coming down with a cold have a bowl of miso with scallions. Ancient Chinese secret!