Winter is associated with Water Element and represented by Kidneys. The temperature of the Element is Cold and the taste is bitter. Kidney network is closely related to bones and Spleen network controls muscles. Spleen is weakened by damp and sweet foods. It controls digestion, fluid metabolism and energy production just to name a few. The warmth or Yang energy, that is essential for proper digestive and musculoskeletal function, is affected by most ‘holiday’ foods, which in turn leads to poor food metabolism, cold sensation in the body and often physical pain.
To “recharge” your spleen & kidney after the holidays try to implement these changes into your diet:
- Eat smaller meals, more frequently
- Eat cooked meals, like vegetable soups and stews, instead of raw salads. Lightly cooked vegetable are easily absorbed
- Take time to enjoy meals by sitting down without being distracted by phone or work
- Chew thoroughly to savor flavors
- Enjoy small amounts of naturally sweet flavors like molasses, dates and rice syrup as well as more pungent tastes such as onion, garlic, turnip, ginger, fennel, cinnamon and nutmeg, which are also beneficial in restoring Spleen function.
Limit the intake of:
- Overly rich, oily or heavy foods
- Cold foods such as raw vegetables/salads (fruits are ok), tofu, and ice cream
- Sugary treats, yeast and flour products (breads, beer)