Seasonal Eating

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According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, there are Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) and five seasons (Spring, Summer, Indian Summer/Late Summer, Fall, Winter.)  Each of the Elements is associated with a particular season, and each of the Elements is also associated with a particular color and taste.  Below is a chart of the basic information for the Five Elements and seasons.  

Within TCM, there is Yin and Yang.  Everything is made of Yin and Yang, there are no absolutes (ie nothing can be pure Yin or pure Yang) – there is always a little bit of Yin in Yang, and a little bit of Yang in Yin. Catching a cold/flu where you end up with a fever but chills: your body is hot from the fever, yet you have a cool/chill feeling.  The body is mostly hot (Yang) with a little bit of cool (Yin.)

The primary goal with Yin/Yang is not to be totally balanced, because if we were totally balanced we would not exist!  What we want to do is to be as balanced as our constitution allows us, and not swing wildly from one end to the other.  Thus, eating too many icy cold foods and drinks in the heat of Summer can result in an imbalance, just as eating too many spicy/hot foods in the Summer can create an imbalance.  We want to eat appropriately to remain healthy and balanced.

ELEMENT ORGANS
Yin – Yang
SEASON COLOR TASTE/FLAVOR INJURIOUS INFLUENCE
Wood Liver – Gall Bladder Spring Green Sour Wind
Fire Heart/Pericardium – Small Intestine/Triple Warmer Summer Red Bitter Heat
Earth Spleen/Pancreas – Stomach Indian/Late Summer Yellow Sweet Dampness
Metal Lung – Large Intestine Fall White Pungent/Metallic Dryness
Water Kidney – Urinary Bladder Winter Black/Dark Blue Salty Cold
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