There are actually foods you should be eating according to the seasons. This is the essence of Food is Medicine. Read more about what should be on your plate this summer.
Healthy eating for summer
Our approach to health at Starting Point Acupuncture in Bothell is all about balance. Not just addressing the symptoms but looking deeper to WHY you have those symptoms and getting to the root cause. One of the factors we look at is your diet. Are their foods you are eating that could be causing or contributing to your symptoms? Most often the answer is yes.
Food is Medicine: You ARE what you eat
Interesting to note, there are actually foods you should be eating according to the seasons. This is the essence of Food is Medicine. Dr. Heintze is trained both in Chinese Medicine and Naturopathic medicine and using the foundations from both, balance is key to optimal health.
In the ancient system of Chinese Medicine, the key to health is to move through the world in such a way that our bodies can remain in homeostasis, in balance. This idea connects to sleep patterns, what we eat and ultimately the flow of Qi, or energy, throughout the body. For that reason, healthy eating for summer, according to Chinese Medicine, is all about using cooling foods to balance out how hot it is outside. In other words, we can find balance from inside and out.
Want to know what to eat according to the seasons?
Here are a few suggestions for healthy eating for summer to keep you cool and in-tune all summer long.
Fresh fruits like watermelons, strawberries, tomatoes and pear are cooling and have strong yin energy. Summer meals should be predominately fresh fruits or vegetables, according to TCM. These food groups have the strongest yin energy, balancing out the fierce yang and fire energies of summer.
Fresh vegetables that are in season in your region are also a great choice, especially cooling vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, lettuce, peppers, celery, raddish, carrots and cauliflower. Vegetables have the second highest yin energy, according to TCM.
Summer herbs like basil, cilantro, parsley and mint are a great, healthy addition to most recipes. These herbs are also natural diuretics and heavy-metal detoxifiers, which flush excess waste from the body.
The best foods to eat vary with geography.
If you live in a place where summer days are long, but not very hot and the nights get really cool, incorporate more neutral or even warming fruits and vegetables into your summer smorgasbord. These fruits and vegetables can include most varieties of squash, especially pumpkin, butternut and acorn squash, lentils and legumes, whole grains like brown rice and root vegetables like beets, potatoes and parsnips.
In places with cooler summers, or during late summer, the fifth season according to TCM, diet is about prioritizing self-nourishment so it can be utilized as energy. Late summer is the time to choose smart sugars that won’t clog up the spleen pathway, including apples, carrots, dates, figs, grapes, peaches, pears, sweet potatoes and squash. These smart sugars also regulate the body’s blood sugar, which decreases the strain on the pancreas.
For those whose summer climate is hot, here is a recipe for a cooling, detoxifying water you can drink all summer long to keep yourself in balance. See below for the easy recipe!
Cooling detox water:
● 1 lemon
● 1 lime
● ½ cucumber
● 16oz. Water
● Bunch of fresh mint
Slice the lemon, lime and cucumber and add to the water. Stir in the mint. Let it sit in the fridge overnight and enjoy chilled.
Give Starting Point Acupuncture & Wellness, a call today (425) 686-4498 to learn more about how to find a solution to get your health back on track!
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc, is a naturopathic doctor and acupuncturist in Bothell, WA at her practice Starting Point Acupuncture. She is a pain specialist, seeing people who suffer from chronic pain, migraines, as well as digestive issues. Offering pain relief injections, acupuncture, and nutrition consults. Most insurances accepted. Dr. Ellie Heintze is also the author of the book, A Starting Point Guide to Going Gluten-Free on Amazon.
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Dr. Ellie Heintze, ND, LAc
- Master’s Degree in Acupuncture
- Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine
- Master’s Degree in Chemistry
Northern Arizona University
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