Bring on the season of Farmer’s markets, outdoor get-together's and family fun. Farmer’s markets are my favorite place to grocery shop, being able to support local farmers and get fresh picked produce.
Every week you can find something new at the farmers market, depending on what is at peak freshness. If we take a deeper look into “in season” foods, it’s a great way to use food as medicine!
What does it mean to use food for medicine?
In Chinese medicine, each food has it’s own properties. Either being Hot/Cold/Drying/Moistening/Warming/Dispersing...This is why we can use herbal medicine to cool fevers or moisten dry lungs etc. For example during the summer time when it is hot out, many people may suffer from high fevers, dry throats or lungs, constipation VS. the winter time where it is more common to catch colds or feel cold inside.
During the summer it is best to eat more cooling foods to prevent too much heat in the body, lucky for us foods that are in summer season for are cooling: -watermelon
As fall approaches foods that are more warming to the body start to be in season:
During the winter time, less fresh produce may be available based on where you live but this is a great time to add spices that warm body or eat foods that are warming to prevent the cold from causing disease:
-lamb and beef
In Colorado we don’t get too much fresh sea food, but we have a lot of steak/elk/bison available. Fish: coming from the cool sea is a great summer time food as it is cooling, and if cooked in the fall or winter times should be warmed up with warming spices. Where as bison/steaks/lamb (red meats) are very warming and great to have in the winter time, if cooked for the summer should be paired with cooling spices like mint or basil or with a variety of cool sides such as watermelon and green tea.
Mother Nature provides us so much preventative medicine! Our modern grocery stores now make almost all foods available year round. If you start to shop more local to your area and eat foods that are in season you will be preventing disease by giving your body the properties it needs during each phase of the seasons.
If you are interested in learning more about the properties of foods: The Tao Of Healthy Eating by Bob Flaws is a great little book listing many of the common foods we eat and how they can be used as medicine for the body.