- Amanda Cressman, N.D.
Eating with the Seasons
Eating with the seasons is something that our ancestors have done, but as we have availability of produce from all over the world, at all times, this is changing. A balanced body will crave the foods of the season and experience healthier digestion because of it.
In the spring, we crave greens and lots of vegetables. Spring is notorious for the time of detoxification and removal of waste. The greens we crave help this process along. In the summer, we move toward cooling foods, especially fruits. Our body craves foods such as: peaches, berries, plums and melons, which help cool from the external heat. We also add ice to our water to keep from overheating. In the fall, we move toward warming foods and root vegetables. Squash, potatoes, carrots, beets are all wonderful foods to eat warmed up at this time of year. And for the final season of winter, meals are served hot using soups, breads and meats. Teas and hot drinks are served at this time of year to keep us warm and toasty.
Imagine eating a salad on a warm summer day, outside with the sun shining. After you are done, you eat a few slices of watermelon. What is your body feeling, how is digestion working?
Now imagine it is a cool fall or winter day and you have packed yourself a salad. You feel good with this healthy choice, but how is your body feeling and what is digestion like?
At this time of year, we naturally crave warm foods, as it helps the digestive process. Eating salads and tropical fruits when temperatures are cool usually results in bloating, gas and indigestion. But if we eat with the seasons and prepare our foods as our ancestors did, we will experience better digestion and overall health.
Ask your body what it wants as the fall season begins and temperatures dip. If you are craving fruit, perhaps warm it up. Make teas instead of ice water or refrigerated juices. Ensure your meals are served warm and connect with the foods of the season. If you are not sure as to what is in season, visit your local farmers market and you will quickly understand what foods are apart of the fall harvest.
And most importantly, enjoy. Food is meant to be satisfying but can also serve as a medicine, helping our body do the necessary work to keep healthy and free of digestive concerns.