Summer Nutrition, WFC Blog Post #2


Summer Nutrition

One of my favorite aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the focus on harmonizing the mind and body with the seasons. Each season teaches us about natural rhythms reflected in our body's internal processes and patterns. Since moving to Minnesota one year ago, I have leaned into TCM nutrition more than ever, as the seasons here are distinct and intense! In addition to nutrition, each season has an emotional correlation which can be healing to explore at the time it is most supported by natural phenomena. Joy is the emotion of Summer in TCM, an emotional state that is simply the desire to live, just as the earth around us is brimming, nearly exploding with life here in Minnesota! This summer, I am focusing on eating fresh, cooling foods, and doing activities that bring joy, like hiking, gardening, and taking slow intentional pauses throughout each day . I recommend that all of us focus on, or even stalk what brings up joy this Summer because it is good for the heart, and exactly like its element fire, it easily spreads.

Natural rhythms inform us on how to eat seasonally, and it is no surprise that during the hot days of summer, nature provides ultra hydrating fruits and vegetables in great abundance! We tend to crave light, cooling fruits and vegetables on hot days, intuitively balancing the yang (hot) environment with yin (cooling) foods.

WFC Blog #2 by Aubrey Lewis, Licensed Acupuncturist

Beneficial Summer Foods: Fruits - ALL berries, papaya, peach, apricot, cherries, melons, peaches Vegetables - Bitter herbs-In TCM, Bitter flavor drains downward, dries, and guides energy to the Heart Strong greens like arugula, mizuna, dandelion leaves + Mild greens such as chard, cabbage, spinach, frisee Herbs and Seeds - Flax, chia, cayenne, paprika, ginger, nettle Grains - Oats, Corn, Quinoa, Brown Rice Meat/ Dairy - Fish, goat milk/cheese


Summer- Fire Element The heart and small intestine are ruled by the Fire element and responsible for circulation and heating the body. During the summer, it is especially beneficial to cut back on animal fats (especially red meat), dairy, and other fatty foods in order to cleanse the small intestine and lessen burden to the heart. Light and fresh foods are the theme of this FIRE season!

Foods to Avoid: These foods below tend to put more stress on the heart and small intestine in the Summer- Alcohol, Sugar, Chocolate, Coffee, Ice Cream, Overeating animal products such as meat/cheese/eggs (Don’t fret if you consume these, simply have them with a few foods that offset the heat effect by using the list of beneficial summer foods above!)

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