Dietary Advice for Seasonal Eating: Autumn Harvest

Ever notice how as Autumn arrives we get an uncontrollable liking for pungent salty heavier foods, like root vegetables, awesome in Chili and soups; butternut squash soup, and vegetable soups?

How much are you craving blueberries and cucumbers right now? Not much I bet! That’s your internal clock recognizing it’s desire to be in harmony with nature.

The seasons are a source of natural shifts of change.

We are what we eat, and if we do so following the harmony of nature, we too shall be in harmony and in health.

Eating for the seasons balances earth’s resources and all life.

111102090930-crate-of-apples-horizontal-gallery      9df0f55120cfee2b_asianpear

Before commercially producing foods today, people ate foods only when they were available and in season. Food allergies were not a problem then. Today it seems we all have food sensitivities and allergies. Is there a correlation?

turkeycookies      1351780820_6113_candycorn     167606_10150180563282571_510662570_8602845_7868163_n holidaypies

Today, we have the luxury of eating whatever we want whenever we want. This, also a curse of health.

Because technology makes it possible for us to have summer fruits in winter, we think nothing of it; however, what it takes to extend the shelf life, enhance the color, and make  un-seasonal produce look and last like it would in the appropriate season is horrific and could be damaging to our overall health. Deplete of nutrition, covered in wax, and inherently disadvantageous to building up the proper energy stores to prepare us from ailments and health problems possible in the next season.

We are not in harmony in our bodies as long as e are not in harmony with nature and her seasons.

The problems that come with the convenience of grocery stores providing the same foods year round have revealed themselves among us in the form of an increasing number of food intolerances and allergies, higher levels of obesity, modern chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes and much more.

According to many scientists, researchers and natural health experts, eating the right kinds of foods during the right times of year and avoiding them otherwise is crucial to a healthy lifestyle. Seasonal foods are a way of reconnecting with the organic cycle that nature intended for us.


Research supporting seasonal eating:

In a research study conducted in 1997 by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food in London, England, notable differences were found in the nutrient content of milk in summer versus winter. Iodine content was higher in the winter and beta-carotene was higher in the summer. The Ministry discovered that these differences in milk composition were primarily due to differences in the diets of the cows. With more salt-preserved foods in winter and more fresh plants in the summer, cows ended up producing nutritionally different milks during the two seasons. Similarly, researchers in Japan found tremendous differences in the vitamin C content of spinach harvested in summer versus winter.

Health Benefits:

Seasonal foods are picked at the peak of freshness and offer higher nutritional content than out of season unripe fruits and vegetables. When you eat with the seasons you can enjoy a rainbow of colorful and diverse foods in your diet as well as providing your body with a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that you need to maintain vibrant health.

Eating seasonal foods helps to support our bodies natural cleansing and healing abilities. For example spring weather offers many tasty leafy greens and vegetables like dandelion greens, spring onions, and spring garlic which are great healing foods for helping detoxify your liver and cleanse your blood.

Sustainable Benefits:

Organic seasonal foods are grown in a sustainable manner by farmers who really care about protecting our planet. Organic farmers rotate crops to increase soil fertility, use integrated pest management to control pests using beneficial insects instead of toxic pesticides, and use sustainable composting methods for disposing of organic waste.

Sustainable farmers provide us with healthier foods

By not using toxic chemicals, poisonous pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds, these farmers provide us with healthier foods along with protecting both our planet and the farm workers health. These sustainable methods of raising foods yields a superior product that offers better taste, quality, and nutrition over conventionally raised foods.

Environmental Benefits:

Eating with the seasons and purchasing local foods helps to protect our planet because it reduces the number of miles your food has to travel before it reaches your plate. This helps cut back on the amount of fuel used which reduces pollution. Buying organic, seasonal, locally grown foods protect our environment for all the reasons I mentioned under sustainable benefits. By making a conscious choice to purchase organic, seasonal, and local foods we help protect our water, air, and land.

Economic Benefits:

When you buy organic, seasonal, locally grown foods you help provide financial support to the farmers in your area which helps to grow your local economy. Seasonal foods are priced much more economically than out of season foods which will save you money on your grocery bills.

Did you know you can buy local seasonal produce at an inexpensive rate and even have it delivered in most areas?

Go to Google and search Local CSA or “Local Crop Share Programs”. http://www.RelayFoods.com is an instant delivery service with access to many regional farms.
Eating for Five Elements in their relationship with nature and the body:

5ElementsTheoryFall

Autumn is the season for tending to lung care and body fluids:

autumnlungs

 

Foods that are important to ensure that the body adjusts to the season changes: Dry weather usually causes and itch throat and dry nose, chapped lips, rough skin, hair loss, and dry stools.

We need to eat to promote the production of body fluids and their lubricating effects throughout the body.

Beneficial foods for this are lily bulb, honey, soy milk, and dairy products if you eat dairy.

Eat more food with sour flavors and reduce pungent flavors like onion, ginger, and peppers as they induce perspiration, while sour foods like pineapple, apple, grapefruite, and lemon have astringent properties and prevent loss of body fluids. The body needs extra fluids to counteract the dry environment.

It’s a Chinese tradition to eat porridge for breakfast and a soup for dinner made with the above ingredients.

It’s important to follow the seasonal harvest of your local region however.

Body fluids originate from food and water and help to excrete metabolic waste and toxins through various organs; primarily spleen, bladder, liver, and kidneys. You’ll want to eat to keep these healthy.

For the global region of the United States, this means a gratuitous amount of root vegetables, and seasonal dark greens, pomegranate, apples, pears, etc. These are seasonally appropriate for this region of the world.

autumnlungs1

Spleen, Liver, Kidneys, Bladder: Areas to keep optimally healthy this Autumn
for metabolic optimal function and maintenance of body fluids:

BodyFluidFlowChart

Yin Yang Theory of Seasonal Eating based on Chinese Medicine:

yinyang1

Origins:

yinyang2

  
So, when considering the Yang qi, the opposite is true of Yin qi.

Energy flows inward, so attention should be maintained to keep the body’s surface area energized!

Consider the cold frigid air and its’ effect on the body’s surface.

One must think, we have to focus energy on protection from external factors, like cold wind and
protecting our immune system and metabolic function.

yangqi

 

Yang flows outward and focuses on replenishing the inner organs of yang qi since it is flowing outward to the surface areas.

The opposite, Yin flows inward and focuses energy to inner organs so it is important to maintain hydration of the outer surface areas; the theme throughout Autumn and Winter, to avoid dryness.

To follow the rules of the seasons is to build the appropriate kinds of energy to address the needs of the upcoming season. It is a cycle our bodies take cue from for seasonal preparedness for optimal health.

If we do not follow seasonal cues to prepare and build energy appropriately, we could make ourselves susceptible to seasonal health issues, like the flu, allergies, or relapse of chronic illnesses.

Yin and Yang have opposing sides and qualities
(bright and dark, for instance).

 

yinyang3

A closer look at the differences of Yin and Yang qualities which translate to seasons,
Autumn and Winter. Spring and Summer. 

yinyang4

15 Fall seasonally appropriate Superfoods:

autumn foods
Apples, Parsnips, Brussells Sprouts, Pomegranates, Tangerines,
Pears, Turnips, Rutabaga, Squash, 
Cauliflower, Sweet Potatoes,
Pumpkin, Dates, Kiwi, and Grapefruit

 

 

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A Holistic Nutrition Consultant & Certified Health Coach With an Integrative Realistic Approach to Wellness Through Whole Life Transition. Coaching, Intervention, Juicing and Nutrition Programs for Healthful Living. Mind-Body-Spirit, Integrative Healing, Biofeedback, Meditation, Self Regulation.

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Posted in Dietary Nutrition

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