In Chinese medicine, each season of the year is related to an organ in the body, a color, a flavor, a meat, a grain, an emotion etc. We are now in winter (here in the northern hemisphere), and the color is black. The organ is the kidneys, the flavor is salty, the element associated with it is water, the wild "meat" associated with it is fish, the domestic meat is pork, the "grain" in this case is beans. The emotion associated with the kidneys is fear or fright.
How can so many things be associated with a season? It has to do with the idea that all of life is governed by energetic principles. Those energetic principles are present in your body, in the environment, in everything on earth and in the heavens. They are what governs and orders our world. For example, color is vibration. We know that colors exist because light particles vibrate at certain frequencies. In the human body, each organ also has a frequency, and there is a correspondence between the frequencies of each organ with the associations I mentioned above.
So how do we incorporate this knowledge into our eating and our desire to stay healthy? The idea here is that incorporating the proper amounts of the associated colors, tastes, meats, grains etc. in the appropriate season, will help to strengthen the associated organ. So if your kidneys are weak, for instance, eating modest amounts of pork (or fish) and beans in the winter will help to strengthen them. What kind of beans? Well, black ones are best. But kidney beans or pintos work well, too. Other foods which help to strengthen the kidneys would include mushrooms (the browner ones, especially with dark underneath), eggplant and brown rice. Soups work well in the winter, because they contain a lot of water. And, of course, dark chocolate for dessert!
This is also the season of the year for rest. This is not the time of year to be staying up late, text messaging your friends, checking out YouTube or MySpace. The reason the nights are longer at this time of the year is because you're supposed to get more sleep. Being healthy means living in harmony with the season we are in. Spring is just around the corner. There'll be plenty of time for a change of flavors, colors and activities.
For more health news visit Mission Valley Acupuncture
p.s. If my parents were still alive, today would have been their 76th wedding anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad!!