This fantastic article was written by Angela Warburton, a Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner, speaker, writer, and teacher. We encourage you to check out her website here, and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!
In Traditional Chinese Medicine we view food not only as having nutritional value but also having properties. For example, some foods are naturally warming, some cooling. Some foods will moisten dryness and some food for relieving mucus or congestion in the body. Other foods are great at circulating energy or lifting the mood.
What this means is that we can use food to not only nourish us but also help to rebalance and heal ourselves in a deep and very specific way.
For example, if we’re feeling cold or chilled, if we include foods that are naturally warming (ginger, cinnamon, cooked foods) and avoid naturally cooling foods (watermelon, cold frozen drinks, cucumber, etc.) we’re going to help balance ourselves out. Conversely, if we have foods that are hot in the property when we’re feeling hot, we’re going to be sending our body more off balance.
Much of this is intuitive and makes sense when we think about it. We so often get into habits or eat the same food year-round, not adapting our diet to how we feel or what’s happening in nature and the environment outside (why exactly do we drink ice water in the winter when we’re trying to stay warm anyway?)
By understanding the natural properties of foods and how to use them to help your body rebalance and heal, you’re more empowered to make healthy healing choices for yourself, for your body. Listening to what your body is saying, not just what is good on paper or is healthy – Customized healthcare at its tastiest.
Fall Food in Focus – The Pear
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Naturally cooling and moistening, the pear is great for decreasing heat that accompanies colds and fevers that often show up in the change of season. It’s excellent at replacing yin fluids in the body, which basically means, it’s very lubricating and is particularly good for dryness in the body, particularly the lungs.
Pears are great for dry coughs or that dry tickle in your throat. Also good for fever, sore throat, dry-type constipation or even a hangover!
Avoid using pear if you are cold and tend towards mucus, chronic congestion, have looser bowel movements or a productive cough. You can combine pear with warming spices (cinnamon and ginger) to help balance out the cold actions or just to have a delicious, nourishing snack.
Pear With Ginger, Honey, and Walnuts
- 2 ripe pears
- ¼ cup walnuts
- ¼ cup honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- ½ teaspoon ginger (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut pears in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out seeds.
- Break walnuts into small pieces and sprinkle in the pit of the pear.
- Drizzle with honey.
- Add ginger and/or cinnamon if desired and if your body feels on the colder side not hot in temperature or you just want a nice balanced snack!
- Place pears on baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes (test – nuts should be somewhat caramelized and pear soft).
- Happy Cozy Fall Eating -Enjoy!
Medicine On Your Plate
Pears – Helps stop a dry cough, lubricates the lungs, cools heat conditions. Avoid eating on their own if you have loose bowels or feel cold in temperature.
Walnuts – Helpful in moistening the lungs and intestines and helps relieve a cough and wheezing. Also great at reducing inflammation, nourishing the kidney-adrenals, brain and good for those with low back pain or knee pain that feels worse in cold weather. Walnuts are warming so use in moderation if you overheat easily.
Raw Honey – Great at moistening dryness and resolving toxins in the body and is also very helpful for dry lungs, cough and dry constipation.
Cinnamon – Drying and warming and great for those who are cold, have cold limbs or low back pain that feels worse in cold weather.
Ginger – Fresh ginger is warming and great for clearing common cold with accompanying chills. Dried ginger is good for warming deep inside and helps to strengthen the digestive system.
Enjoyed those delicious Baked Pears? Then you have to try this – Chia Pear Breakfast Porridge!
- Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition – Paul Pitchford
- Tao of Healthy Eating: Dietary Wisdom According to Chinese Medicine – Bob Flaws
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