Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) considers nutrition a real curative method, as well as a way to prevent diseases. For this reason, it is essential to pay attention to the type of food we ingest and seasonality. According to TCM, humans are affected by what happens in the natural environment in which they find themselves. Each season is characterized by the evolution of a particular polarity of energy; therefore, a correct diet must consider the energy changes that the different seasons impose on our body.
Winter is the season with the coldest climate and our qi, or our energy, is committed to defending ourselves from the external cold. For a correct diet it is important to know the Chinese classification of foods, according to which, due to their main characteristics, some foods are more yin and others, on the other hand, more yang.
Therefore, in the logic of yin yang equilibrium, in winter you will have to eat foods with heating properties, to give the metabolism the boost it needs
What are the foods to choose? Cereal grains and legumes, as they are useful for energy production, ginger, which helps to warm the body, red meat, due to its warm nature, soups, a hot dish and often prepared with vegetables that help fight the cold (garlic, onion, leek). And again, the spices, by their spicy nature, used by the Chinese since ancient times by virtue of their healing properties, and which became condiments of the dishes only later.
Winter recipe – Chinese cabbage and ginger soup
Ingredients for 4 people: 1 clove of garlic, 2 cm of ginger root, 750 g of Chinese cabbage, 4 onions, 1.25 l of chicken broth, 1 tablespoon of peanut oil, 100 gr of cooked rice , 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, salt and pepper.
Method. Wash all the vegetables. Peel and chop the garlic clove, peel and slice the ginger and the Chinese cabbage, peel and chop the onions and bring the broth to a boil. Simmer the garlic and ginger in peanut oil for 1 minute over low heat. Add the hot broth and rice and cook for 30 minutes over medium heat. Finally add the cabbage and onion and cook for another 5 minutes. At the end of cooking add the salt, pepper and sesame oil.
Istituto Confucio dell’Università degli Studi di Milano