Top Healthy Foods for Fall
The season of fall brings cooler weather and shorter days. As with any season, the world adjusts accordingly. Plants begin to go dormant, animals begin scrounging for food to store to get them through the upcoming winter months and humans start winterizing everything.
Using food as medicine
With the change in seasons also comes with increase in allergies, lowered immune function, and here in the PNW, dark gloomy days. The “seasonal affective disorder” really does affect many people but there is hope! There are so many things you use on a daily basis that can help boost your immune system and defend against the cold and flu season.
What foods to add in, what foods to take out
As we transition into Fall, it reminds us we need to start cutting back on the numerous cooling foods that are consumed during the summer months. Things like raw foods, salads, juices and fruits should be decreased because they can create too much cold in the body, according to traditional Chinese medicine.
Chinese medicine nutrition brings us back to the basics
Chinese medical nutrition theory is rooted in history based on climate changes during the seasons which still is relevant today. When the season changed to fall and the amount of daylight decreased and the temperatures cooled, Chinese began to eat what was available. This is what it means to “eat for the season.”
By eating according to the season, we can avoid many illnesses and diseases. If we continue to eat raw, cold foods during the cooler fall and winter months, then we set ourselves up for digestive problems, colds, sinus infections and even painful joints.
When a person eats seasonally, they will inevitably notice that certain foods are no longer abundant or available. During fall, one should fill his or her cupboards with dried foods, heavy grains, seeds, roots and squashes. In TCM, these foods help move the body’s energy or qi (pronounced “chee”) inward.
Fall is also a time to slow down
This means that we should cook food for longer periods of time on lower heat. How we cook food will affect how the body tolerates it and how the energy is used. For fall, TCM suggests making soups and stews, using a crockpot or slow cooker, roasting and baking foods. These methods create a deeper warmth and supply greater energy from the food.
Nourishment for healthy lungs and immune health
Foods that are nourishing to the lungs are very important during fall. Since many people get sick during these months, lung tonifying foods can be very beneficial. This includes foods like ginger, onion, garlic, pears, walnuts, miso, navy beans, almonds, asparagus, broccoli, apricots, bananas, apples, plums and grapes.
The drier weather can also cause chapped lips, a dry nose, an itchy throat, rough skin and even dry stools. To counter these issues, it is recommended to eat foods that promote the production of bodily fluids, such as nuts, seeds, pears, pumpkins, honey and a traditional Chinese porridge known as congee.
When we follow the cues given to us by nature, we can maintain a very healthy existence.
Want help with preventing fatigue this Fall? Give our office a call today, (425) 686-4498 to set an initial consult with Dr. Heintze.
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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, facial rejuvenation, 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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Tagged In: cold and flu, dampness, digestion, fall, gluten-free, immune support, nutrition, paleo, root veggies, sinus, sinus congestion
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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