Autumn foods- the key to balancing the metal element

Autumn brings the harvest of crops, shorter days and preparation for winter. It is a time to organize, work hard, and finish projects that you began in Spring and Summer. In this season, it’s time to make sure everything pure and necessary is used and maximized, and that anything unnecessary or wasteful is eliminated. The lungs and the large intestine, associated with metal in Chinese medicine, both deal with purification and elimination. The lungs take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide through breathing. The large intestine absorbs water and completes the absorption of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. It also holds and eliminates waste.

To embrace autumn choose foods that are ripen during the season, and autumn is bountiful.

Pungent roots, like onions and turnips, drain dampness and benefit the Lungs & Colon.  Squashes correlate to the season of Late Summer and help us bringing balance and core. A very broad category, the pungent flavor ranges from hot and warm like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, anise and ginger, onions and radish to the cooling mints and lemon balms.

In Autumn, include more foods that are cooked slowly for a longer period of time like soups, stews, slower cooker foods, roasting and baked dishes. These methods create a deeper warmth and supply greater energy. If you suffer excessive dry conditions, use more stewing or poaching–which add in moisture. If you suffer excess dampness use dryer methods, like baking and roasting.  Time to dust off the crock pot. As autumn is associated with dryness, it is very important to hydrate by drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of fresh water daily. Water also bulks the foods in our Large Intestine and promotes healthier bowel movements.

Foods that enhance the metal element:

– grains: white, brown, and sweet rice, mochi;

– vegetables: cauliflower, cabbage, chinese cabbage, celery, daikon radish, watercress, mustard and turnip greens, turnips, garlic, cucumber, leeks;

– beans and Pulses: white beans

– fish: Bass, snapper, cod, haddock, herring, flounder, sole, halibut;

– herbs and seasonings: dill, fennel, thyme, ginger root, horseradish, cinnamon, cayenne, basil, and rosemary;

vitamin C foods such as green peppers, citrus and increased water ( great for Lungs);

–  fibre, water, yoghurt, honey, liver, buttermilk, brewers yeast and green leafy vegetable (good for large intestine);

In the fall, eat fewer cold, uncooked foods — such as salads — and more warm, cooked foods.  Switch from salads to soups and steamed vegetables such as winter squash, winter peas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, and yams.  Incorporate yellow and red foods into your meals.  Start your day with hot oatmeal.  

Foods like wild rice, raw onions, garlic, radish, turnip, kohlrabi, cinnamon, mint, rosemary, scallions, cloves, fennel, anise, dill, mustard greens, horseradish, mustard, basil, nutmeg are considered metal foods.  These foods have a dispersing effect and promote energy circulation.  They mostly benefit sluggish, damp, lethargic, and cold people.  The taste associated with metal is pungent or spicy.

If you eat white-colored food, it is supposed to benefit your lungs, large intestine, nose and respiratory system, and skin. Common white foods include rice and noodles, both of which are staples in Chinese cuisine. The list also includes lotus seed, daikon, onion, garlic, bitter melon, winter melon, broccoli, bamboo shoots, white wood ear, milk, tofu, soy milk, Asian pear, banana, almond, white sesame, rock sugar, and more.

 Here are the benefits of a few foods:

– navy Beans – sweet flavor, benefits the lungs and spleen (both aspects of the metal element);

– almonds – relieve stagnant qi of the lungs, transform phlegm;

– mustard greens – influence lungs, clear chest congestion, improve energy circulation;

– onions – resolves phlegm and inflammations of the upper respiratory system;

– radish – transforms phlegm;

– pear – affects the lungs, eliminates phlegm;

Pungent (Metal) foods are generally warming (yang) and encourage energy to expand and move outward.

Below you have an extensive list of fall foods that impact metal element:

 – veggies: artichoke, beets, bell pepper, broccolini, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, cauliflower, celery root, chard, corn, eggplant, fennel, garlic, mushrooms, parsnip, potatoes, pumpkin, radishes, rutabaga, spinach, sweet potatoes, kohlrabi, turnips, leek;

– fruits: apples (apple picking!), pears, persimmon, plums, pomegranate, tamarillo, tangerines, quinces, grapes, pineapple;

– berries: rosehip, blackberries, hawthorn, elderberries, cranberries;

– nuts: almonds, chestnuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnut.







 A nutrition plan taking into account seasonal eating it’s a great way to maintain optimal health or to restore it. I am looking forward to hearing from you!















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