How can you stay healthy this winter season? Dr. Amy Punké, a naturopathic practitioner at the Whole Self Wellness Centre and Dr. Michelle Hughes, Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine. share their tips on how to utilize Traditional Chinese Medicine methods to keep the cold and flu away with us!
In traditional Chinese medicine proper diet is an important component of health. All foods are categorized into temperature, from hot to cold; and five major flavours: pungent, spicy, sweet, sour and salty. Different temperatures and flavours of food influence the body in specific ways and we should try to include all flavours and a balance of temperatures in every meal. If too much of one type of food is consumed it can create an imbalance within the body.
This time of year, our digestive system is weakened or less efficient when a lot of "cold" or "damp" foods are consumed. In Chinese Medicine, some symptoms of dampness in the body are: fatigue, body heaviness, sluggishness; excess weight; cysts, tumours; yeast infections; bloating and gas; foggy head; chronic sinus infections; cloudy urine; a thick coat on the tongue. It is recommended to avoid the following foods: dairy, wheat, cold drinks, processed foods, refined flour, pastry, white pasta, white bread, cold raw foods, refined sugar and sugar substitutes, coffee, alcohol and deep fried foods.
Try adding some of these foods to your diet this season: lightly cooked vegetables, corn, celery, watercress, turnip, pumpkin, alfalfa sprouts, mushrooms, radishes; brown rice, barley, amaranth, rye, oats; legumes, kidney beans, adzuki beans, lentils; small amount of lean meat, poultry and fish; small amount of whole fruits, lemon; sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds; seaweed, kelp; green tea, jasmine tea, raspberry leaf tea.
Learn how to make an immune-boosting chicken, ginger & cabbage soup here. It is served hot, and the spices and herbs such as fresh ginger root also add a potent "warming" sensation!