By Dr Rachel Holdaway
Nature knows best… Eating seasonal foods is so important to Chinese medicine dietetics and is one of the many reasons as to why we have so much success in improving our patient’s health.
Not so long ago, a ripe tomato or avocado was a treat reserved for the warmer months. The seasons governed the types of fresh foods we ate and when we ate. We consumed local foods that had grown in the same climate, time and place, that we were physically in. Today, thanks to farming technology and global trading, we can access much of our favourite produce year round. But at what price?
Nutrient depletion in fresh foods begins right when they are first harvested. So those long journeys to your plate mean all those healthy meals might not be as nourishing as we’d hope. Studies have also shown that in-season produce contains almost twice the nutrients as out-of-season fruit and veg.
Chinese medicine dietetics emphasises the importance of eating seasonally. It has long recognised seasonal food’s ability to compensate for the harsher weather conditions, giving us the right nutrient support for the climate. The cooler months bring with them vitamin C-packed produce to ward off the dreaded flu, along with warming and tonifying root veggies. Summer’s juicy stone fruits provide us with extra carotenoids that help protect us against sun damage, plus lighter veggies to refresh and hydrate.
Chinese medicine is based on the Daoist philosophy of living in harmony with the cycles of nature. Each season has its own associated element, taste and influence on nature. For us to thrive in all seasons, we must eat the foods that also thrive in those conditions – local, seasonal foods!
As we enter Spring, we arrive in a time for creating, cleansing, growth, and renewal. While nature around us begins to grow buds and bloom, we too can connect with the energy of Spring to clear away the old, and invite in a fresh, new experience of health and vitality.
The Liver and Gall bladder are at their peak of activity during the Spring, and many of the seasonal foods will assist them to ramp up their roles in detoxifying and cleansing. Spring is associated with the colour green and its taste is sour. Think leafy greens like lettuces, sprouts, rocket and asian greens, plus fresh fragrant herbs like basil and mint, and sweet-sour fruits like grapefruit, pineapple and kiwi.
Starting your day with lemon or apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water is another powerful way to kick start the Liver and Gall bladder in the mornings after all the natural cleansing that occurs at night while we sleep.
Choosing seasonal foods helps us connect with nature’s rhythms. So make the most of Spring’s vibrant produce while it is at its best!
Rachel is a dedicated, results driven acupuncturist with a rich background in health and wellness, including over 8 years teaching yoga. She has a particular interest in women’s health, fertility, IVF support and pre/post-natal care. Rachel believes the journey to wellness and fertility is -at its heart- a journey back to ourselves, and is passionate about empowering women with the information and support they need to reach their goals. Rachel is a problem solver who strives to understand her patient’s full health story, to formulate treatments that address the root cause of health issues and restore the body’s natural ability to heal and conceive.
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Spring Acupuncture is an integrative Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients, and empowering them along their journey to optimal fertility, pregnancy health, IVF success and general wellness. We are located in Springwood, Brisbane, and are conveniently situated right next door to The Fertility Centre, IVF clinic.
We are humbled to be able to assist patients from local suburbs and all over Queensland. Proudly servicing Springwood, Brisbane, South Brisbane, Acacia Ridge, Algester, Annerley, Archerfield, Beenleigh, Burbank, Calamvale, Coopers Plains, Darra, Doolandella, Drewvale, Durack, Dutton Park, Eight Mile Plains, Ellen Grove, Fairfield, Forest Lake, Greenslopes, Heathwood, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Inala, Karawatha, Kuraby, Larapinta, MacGregor, Mackenzie, Mansfield, Moorooka, Mount Gravatt, Mount Gravatt East, Nathan, Pallara, Parkinson, Richlands, Robertson, Rochedale, Rocklea, Runcorn, Salisbury, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Sinnamon Park, Stones Corner, Stretton, Sumner, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Tarragindi, Tennyson, Upper Mount Gravatt, Wacol, Willawong, Wishart, Yeerongpilly, Yeronga, Bahrs Scrub, Bannockburn, Beenleigh, Belivah, Berrinba, Bethania, Boronia Heights, Browns Plains, Buccan, Carbrook, Cedar Creek, Cedar Grove, Cedar Vale, Chambers Flat, Cornubia, Crestmead, Daisy Hill, Eagleby, Edens Landing, Flagstone, Flinders Lakes, Forestdale, Glenlogan, Greenbank, Heritage Park, Hillcrest, Holmview, Jimboomba, Kagaru, Kairabah, Kingston, Logan Central, Logan Reserve, Logan Village, Loganholme, Loganlea, Lyons, Maclean, Marsden, Meadowbrook, Monarch Glen, Mount Warren Park, Mundoolun, Munruben, New Beith, Park Ridge, Park Ridge South, Priestdale, Regents Park, Riverbend, Rochedale South, Shailer Park, Silverbark Ridge, Slacks Creek, Stockleigh, Tamborine, Tanah Merah, Underwood, Undullah, Veresdale, Veresdale Scrub, Waterford, Waterford West, Windaroo, Wolffdene, Woodhill, Woodridge and Yarrabilba.