Autumn is here – what foods shall we choose to consume?

Autumn corresponds to the Metal element in the 5 Element theory of Asian (Chinese) medicine and rules the Lungs and Colon, which dominates the skin, respiration, body fluids metabolism, blood circulation, immunity and melancholy emotion. To embrace Autumn, choose foods that are ripen during the season, and Autumn is bountiful. Things begin to fall and mature in autumn. Since the vigorous summer is over, TCM holds that everything needs to turn inwards so as to prepare for the harsh winter. Foods are important to ensure that the body adjusts to the changing seasons.

The dry weather usually causes an itchy throat, a dry nose, chapped lips, rough skin, hair loss and dry stools. We need to eat to promote the production of body fluids and their lubricating effects throughout the body. Beneficial foods for this are lily bulb, white fungus, nuts or seeds, pear, lotus root, pumpkin, honey, soy milk and dairy products. It is advisable to eat more food with sour flavors and reduce pungent flavors as such things like onion, ginger and peppers induce perspiration, while sour foods like pineapple, apple, grapefruit and lemon have astringent properties and thus prevent the loss of body fluids. The body needs extra fluids to counteract the dry environment, and it is a Chinese tradition to eat congee for breakfast and soup for dinner that is made with the above ingredients.

Autumn Elements

Foods: Honey, Fragrant Solomon’s Seal, Pomelo Pineapple, Pear and White Fungus
Element: Metal
Yin: Lungs
Yang: Large Intestine
Climate: Dryness


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