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Traditional Chinese Medicine Eating In Winter

Updated: Feb 10

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is a time for rest and cultivating energy. Winter is a good time to focus on flowing practices, which can help maintain Qi flow and bring warmth. You can also increase warmth, health, and balance by paying attention to your winter eating habits.

An article called "6 Tips For Healthy Winter Eating According To Traditional Chinese Medicine" shares some eating tips that will be beneficial for you throughout the winter season:

"To best keep our bodies in balance, it is important to eat according to the season. In addition to eating seasonal, local foods that grow during this time, such as root veggies and winter greens, here are 6 tips to keep in mind when deciding what to eat this winter:

1. Stick with warm foods.

We want to eat foods to counter the cold and keep our bodies warm. It is healthiest to consume very little raw foods like salads and an abundance of fruit, and avoid foods with cold temperatures…

2. Satisfy your sugar cravings.

For most of us, a craving for sweets here and there is inevitable. In Chinese medicine, sweet is the flavor of the spleen and in moderation can be nourishing to the system.

However, in excess, sweets can cause damage, overload the metabolism, and in Chinese medicine terms, may harm the spleen qi and lead to dampness that can slow down metabolism and clog up our pipes…

3. Include healthy fats.

Satisfy winter cravings for fats by eating healthy fats instead of fried or packaged and processed foods. Add whole fat organic coconut milk to soups, stews, and curries…

4. Fermented vegetables!

To help digest fats, eat sauerkraut or other fermented vegetables, such as kimchi, pickles, or kombucha with your meals…

5. Take it slow.

Winter is the time to eat foods that cook slowly for a long time using low heat. This allows the food to break down sufficiently, making it easier for the body to digest during the cold months when we don't have abundant heat in the environment to speed up our metabolism…

6. Nourish those kidneys.

Because the kidneys are the organ of the season, it is important to keep them nourished and warm throughout the winter, which in turn helps to keep our energy reserves strong…"


Struggling to hit your hydration goals? Don’t worry; we’ve all been there. Getting to the bottom of your water bottle will feel harder on some days than others, especially when you’re trying to reach the 9 cups a day for women or 13 cups a day for men that the National Academy of Medicine recommends.

¹ That’s a lot of water—especially in the winter when you may not feel as thirsty.²

Luckily, plain water isn’t the only drink that counts toward your daily water intake.³ There are plenty of ways to mix up your cup while still staying hydrated. That’s why we’ve put together eight warm water drinks that are perfect for the winter months and will help you easily reach your water goals, almost as if by magic.



Adding a twist of lemon or orange to a mug of hot water is a classic and super-easy way to add flavor without adding calories. It’s simple, refreshing and will warm you up on a cold winter day.


  • Add freshly squeezed lemon or lemon slices to taste to 1 cup of hot water


Green tea has enough caffeine to give you a boost but not enough to give you the jitters. And, like all teas, it’s almost entirely water, so it’ll bump up your daily cup count.


  • Steep your favorite green tea, loose or bagged, in 1 cup of hot water for 2-3 minutes

  • Add your own flavors, like freshly squeezed lemon, honey or dried fruit


The refreshing flavor and aroma of mint are perfect when you want a stimulating drink to help you stay focused on work. It’s easy to make yourself and completely caffeine-free.


  • Steep 8-10 fresh mint leaves (peppermint, spearmint or other variety) in 1 cup boiling water for 3-5 minutes

  • Strain into a mug

  • Add sugar, honey, lemon or additional mint leaf garnish to taste


Although traditionally made as a home remedy for nausea, ginger tea is a warming, spicy drink that can be enjoyed anytime. It’s especially tasty as an after-dinner drink or served with spiced desserts like carrot cake or apple pie.


  • Peel and slice 2 tbsp (about 2 inches) of fresh ginger root

  • Boil ginger in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes or longer for stronger flavored tea

  • Strain, then store and refrigerate any extra tea

  • Add lime juice and/or honey to taste


Achai tea latte is a great, low-calorie substitute for your usual morning mocha or flavored latte. It will still give you a kick of caffeine but with less sugar and a little more spice.


  • Steep 2 bags of your favorite chai tea (or plain black tea) in a pot with 1 cup of boiling water for 5 minutes

  • If you use plain black tea, add 1 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger and ¼ tsp allspice

  • Optionally stir in sugar to taste

  • Remove tea bags

  • Add 1 cup milk (any kind) and stir over heat until hot but not boiling

  • Strain through a fine sieve into a mug and top with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon


Medicine Ball tea is the perfect pick-me-up drink. Whether you have a case of the sniffles or are just having a sour day, this warm, citrus-mint tea will soothe your soul.


  • Steep 1 bag of your favorite mint tea and 1 bag of your favorite herbal tea (we recommend flavors like peach, strawberry or lemon) in 2 cups of boiling water for 3-5 minutes

  • Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice or more to taste

  • Add 2 tbsp of honey or more to taste


A stormy name for a stormy-day drink. This creamy, full-bodied tea latte will make you want to curl up with a good book on a rainy day.


  • Steep 2 bags of Earl Grey tea and ½ tsp of dried lavender in a pot with 1 cup of boiling water for 3 minutes

  • Remove tea bags

  • Stir in ½ cup milk (any kind) and stir over heat until hot but not boiling

  • Strain into a mug and optionally add sugar to taste


This sweet, sleepy-time drink will help you cozy up and unwind in the evenings after a long, stressful day.


  • Steep 2 bags of chamomile tea in a pot with 1 cup boiling water for 10 minutes

  • Remove tea bags

  • Stir in ½ cup milk (any kind) and stir over heat until hot but not boiling

  • Stir in 1 tbsp honey or more to taste

  • Pour into a mug and top with whipped cream and/or ground cinnamon as desired

Learn more by reading the full article "6 Tips For Healthy Winter Eating According To Traditional Chinese Medicine" here:

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