Eating for the changing season: Ground and nourish yourself through food | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Eating for the changing season: Ground and nourish yourself through food

Tamsin Edwards

We tie ourselves to the seasons. All summer, we do what we can to spend as many daylight hours outdoors, participating in high energy activities. Our diets are lighter, fresher, and the foods we consume are generally cooling in nature, and designed to keep the fire element in check.

Autumn is a time where we begin to reflect on the year, our achievements, our outstanding goals, conversations still left to have, and the things we'd like to purge from our life before the year is out. It's a time to focus on balancing the physical body and the emotional mind.

In preparation for colder, dryer months ahead, and to ensure you stay boosted and strong to prevent disease setting in, there are many things we can do to support our body through diet and nutrition.

Fall is the perfect time to reap the benefits of the peak growing season. The foods that we harvest at this time have everything we need nutrition wise to power us through the colder months.

Visit your farmers market or local organic food shop

Root vegetables and a bounty of autumn fruits are everywhere right now. By eating what is ripe and ready now, we help our body assimilate to the season and connect, energetically, to the earth. Grounding squash and stone fruits also help prepare us for the energetically dormant season approaching. By choosing local and organic you'll also be supporting your local farmer and ethical farming practices. Cook with friends or family and allow yourself time to reconnect with those you missed over the busy summer months because of travel, weddings, childcare and other events.

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Warm yourself with earthy food

Say goodbye to crunchy, raw vegetables and embrace earthy, warming, grounding foods. Winter squash, turnips, swede, carrots, beets, pumpkin, parsnip and sweet potatoes will help warm you from the inside out. Include warming spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cardamom to your recipes and you'll be doubling the benefits of these ingredients.

Eat pungent foods to protect and purify

The lung, the organ associated with this season, loves pungent flavors which help purify and disperse the stuck energy of the large intestine. White pungent foods are ideal — garlic, horseradish, onion, daikon and white pepper — while mucilaginous foods like marshmallow root will help renew the mucous membranes in the lungs.

Move the blood with herbs and spices

Adding spices such as pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom, or ingredients like horseradish or garlic, will warm the body further and get the blood moving. Try switching your coffee out for golden milk or chai and choose a body oil or moisturizer that is infused with warming herbs.

Here some key ingredients to start consuming now for maximum nourishment:

Winter Squash: There are so many varieties to choose from, some with a more neutral flavor, others are dense and sweet. These nutritional powerhouses are packed with vitamin A and C. They are also a good source of minerals like calcium, potassium and magnesium.

Brussels Sprouts: Sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C and K, fiber, as well as B vitamins. They're also full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. To reduce their gas-producing properties, try boiling them for a few minutes. This will help make them easier to digest. Sauté them in some ghee, Parmesan, salt and pepper and you'll increase the deliciousness of them.

Dark Leafy Greens: Greens get sweeter as the temperature drops. These are fully loaded with vitamins — A, C, K, and B plus fiber and protein. Chard, kale, and collard greens are just some of the many available right now.

Persimmons: Currently lining the shelves of your local health food store, these fruits are rich in fiber and vitamin C and A.

Pomegranates: If you can handle the sweetness as well as the tartness, pomegranates are a wonderful food to add in. They contain a plethora of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins C and K, and folate.

We recommend checking in with your healthcare provider or herbalist when starting a new supplement or protocol. To schedule an herbal consult, call us at 530-541-9355.

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