As we head out of the long winters sleep and approach spring Chinese Food Therapy can help support the shift in season!


The Huang Di Nei Jing reminds us to “rise early with the sun” and take “brisk walks” to move with the Yang energy of the season.  Spring is a time of ascending and active energy.  A Chinese proverb states “bundle up in the spring and stay cool in the autumn”.  Wearing a scarf around the neck during the Spring will protect from the wind that increases during this season.  Wearing layers to avoid becoming too cold is important as our wei qi (protective energy) is more active with the more dramatic changes in temperature of the season.

Spring is the time where we naturally begin to eat less.  The diet is to be the lightest of the year as our bodies lessen the need to store energy for the winter.  The Spring diet contains foods which emphasizes the Yang energy of this time of year.  This is a time of expansiveness and movement: a time of new beginnings and clear vision.  Foods tend to be lighter in energy with upward energies such as young, green, and sprouting above ground vegetables.

General food advice for eating in Spring to keep the Wood element in balance would be foods that are warm in nature, ascending (pungent) and sweet such as:

*Cabbage, sweet potato, carrot, beet root, spring onions, peas, ginger, horseradish, mung beans, daikon radish, garlic, leeks, chives, spinach, cilantro, bamboo shoots, kale, chard, collards, dandelion leaves

*Sweet rice, millet, shitake mushrooms, sunflower seeds, pine nuts

*Lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangerine, cherries

*Mint, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf, chamomile, black pepper, sesame, olive oil, honey

Pungent flavored foods stimulate the circulation of qi and blood and move energy up and out.  Avoid uncooked, frozen and fried foods.  Stir fry and steaming foods are nice ways to prepare foods for this season. 

The Wood element and Liver organ can be supported by lessening stress and eating calmly.  Thoroughly chew food and drink lots of fluids.  Drinking lemon water is excellent during this time of year.  A stir fry with rice and any of the above suggestions is a delicious and healthy way to lighten up the diet for Spring time energy to flow!!