As you may know, Eastern Medicine utilizes food therapy in conjunction with acupuncture to help treat an individual specifically and fully. However, there are basic principles for basic optimal eating that should first be addressed. These range from balancing your dinner plate, to eating local foods which are in peak season, to modifying certain soups or broths to amplify the nutrients desired for specific times of the year to fully nourish our bodies.
Seasonal eating of produce not only enhances the nutrition benefit of the food itself but also tastes better. Natural ripening allows the fruit or vegetable to fully mature on its vine or tree and then is picked and harvested only at its peak time. By eating locally and in season, the benefits also require less transport and less irradiation of the produce itself. Buying locally allows a more personal knowledge about our food source and how it was grown. So in a nutshell, buying both seasonally and locally provide us with more antioxidants, folate, vitamin C, and carotenes which often gets lost in harvesting too early or long transport times of produce. Phyto-nutrient content are at its peak when bought local and eaten in peak season. Also, the added perk of supporting our local farms and farmlands and essentially our local economy is one that cannot be denied. Buying overseas agriculture, we run the risk of eating produce in which both the soil and land quality may not be properly regulated.
July is here and thriving! The peak foods at this time consist of beet root, chicory, cucumbers, elder flowers, marrow, beans, sorrel, spring greens, spring onions, watercress, and asparagus to name a few. Other summer peak foods consist of blackberries, blueberries, peaches, plums, and nectarines. These foods are full of beta carotenes which not only help in the prevention of sun damage but are also cooling foods to beat the summer heat such as salad vegetables. They also provide natural sugars which gives us more energy during this season to help replenish our high energy expenditures at this time when we are typically more active. A fun fact is seasonal eating is also known as Rappaport which is a theory of seasonal eating where food is fully harvested and ripened to gain its full benefits. In a few months, beautiful foliage Fall Time will be approaching. At this time, cranberries, figs, pears, apples, and grapes are in peak season. With winter, our bodies need more protection so citrus foods like grapefruit, lemons, oranges, and tangerines provide the body with added vitamin C. This helps prevent colds and flus. Comfort foods like stew, soups, and casseroles help warm the body. Then comes Spring Time, where rhubarb, pineapple, mango, avocados, and apricots are more prevalent.
When treating the body, nature heals in many different ways. One way is eating in peak season and using food therapy provided by your Eastern Medicine practitioner to help nourish any deficiencies which may arise. This allows a safe, yet gentle, and effective approach to balance the body. An integrative combination of herbs, diet, and lifestyle are needed to get the best results. Eastern Medicine beautifully addresses the root cause and pattern of disease. This allows the practitioner to treat the whole person and not just the disease or symptom. This way allows the body to then heal itself.
Balancing your plate by choosing high quality proteins, carbohydrates, produce, and even good fat for every meal. This even includes selecting healthy snacks. The best balance to fill your plate should consist of the correct portion of each of these categories. One half of your plate should be produce. This ensures adequate micronutrients much needed to help protect our bodies. These micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients. This can be accomplished by filling half your plate with a bed of greens or vegetables. Not only will this improve digestion functions but help to naturally detoxify and ultimately help you feel amazing. One quarter of your plate should be a high quality protein like fish, seeds, quinoa, lean beef. Other good proteins include seafood, nuts, nut butter, beans, poultry, yogurt, eggs, mushrooms, and hard cheeses. Good grains for protein include not only quinoa which has comparable protein to meat but also buckwheat, millet, and amaranth which are considered ancient grains. One quarter of our plates should be complex carbohydrates. This provides us with steady energy and does not create a blood sugar issue. Root vegetables, winter squash, beans, whole grains all fit in this category. Lastly, we all need a small amount of good fats in our diet. These good fats are the key component of cell membrane function and formation. This is a major component in nerve, brain, skin, and heart health. These should be from fatty fish, seeds, nuts, EV00, unrefined coconut oil, tea seed oil, as well as eggs, avocados, and olives.
One of my favorite all time foods is miso soup. During the summer months, the red miso is preferred. I like to add kale, pumpkin seeds, green or string beans, olive oil, and a dash of sea salt Yum! Fall time, the brown miso is a better choice due to its deeper flavor. Enoki mushrooms, egg yolk, and unsalted butter create a beautiful decoction to enjoy the fall foliage! Wintertime, I prefer the white miso with radish and watercress leaves. Come springtime, white miso works with small baby lettuces, fresh peas, and alfalfa sprouts! Try it out for yourself and enjoy! Please call to start your journey to optimal health…772-353-1397