Warming Foods for Cooler Days

October 30th, 2022

By: Jennifer Palauskas, RD

The autumn is rolling in, like the fog and rainy mist on a fall morning. Color is bursting from the trees. Leaves will be falling soon. The chill is in the air….maybe I should have brought a coat…oooh I can go for a flavored coffee or tea. My favorite flavor is back! I could sure go for some vegetable soup, or a stew, oh maybe chili.

While I am not a trained professional in traditional Chinese medicine, there are different beliefs that may be helpful for us during different seasons.  An example could be that we should eat more warming foods when it’s cold, due to the weather affecting the yin/yang balance of our bodies and health. Warming foods increase the yang in the body.  Chinese medicine says if you have a deficiency in yang, you could have these symptoms:

  • Cold feet
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pains or bloating after eating
  • Lack of energy
  • Sore joints
  • Fluid retention

You can fix this by eating more warming foods. Warming foods are:

  • Fruits: apricots, cherries, dates, grapes, peaches, and pineapple
  • Vegetables: chives, leeks, onions, and pumpkin
  • Nuts, seeds, and spices: chestnuts, walnuts, chili, cinnamon, garlic, ginger, mustard, pepper, and turmeric.
  • Meats: beef, chicken, lamb, shrimp, and deer.
  • Tea (black, ginger, or jasmine)

Just to get you in the mood for fall …cooking foods long and slow also makes food warmer. Soups, stews, and slow roasted foods are examples. Think about the color of the leaves and fire pits. Red, orange, and yellow foods tend to be among the warmer foods as well. Eating more fruits and veggies also helps us consume more red, orange, and yellow foods. It’s lucky for us that these foods are usually the “in season” foods for us during the cold, fall, and winter months.

Jennifer Palauskas, RD is a registered dietitian for 22 years and with Morrison Healthcare for 19 years at Moses Taylor Hospital in Scranton, Pa. She works both in the in-patient and outpatient settings. She enjoys reading, baking, spending quality time with family, and encouraging healthful eating .

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