News & Features

Tuesday 29th September 2015

Autumn food to strengthen winter health

What you eat now will impact on your health through autumn and winter, either nourishing or weakening the lungs and immune system.

In Oriental philosophy, autumn is the Metal or Lung energy time and taking advantage of seasonal foods such as root vegetables will help the body to fight off colds and flu.

Leading macrobiotic practitioner, lecturer and author Oliver Cowmeadow, founder of the International Macrobiotic School in Totnes, says that a balanced diet now is vital to strengthen the immunity, the lungs and mucus membranes to help protect our bodies from common respiratory illnesses that are prevalent over the winter.

“Metal energy is strong now so we can strengthen and nourish the lungs,” he explains. “In Oriental medicine, the lungs are a barrier, along with the mucus membranes, which help to protect our bodies from invading microbes.

“The more we strengthen them now, the better equipped we’ll be in the coming months, and the better our overall health will be. Our health is in our own hands, we need to start eating more yang food now, with longer cooking, dryer cooking, more grains and beans and root vegetables and roasted seeds.”

Foods that strengthen the lungs:

whole grains such as brown rice, millet and quinoa

root vegetables such as carrots and parsnips

small beans especially green and brown lentils

well cooked squash and pumpkins

pungent root vegetables like root ginger, horse radish and mooli

Foods that weaken the lungs:

refined sugar

tropical fruits or too many temperate fruits

dairy products