By Davina Mercuri
Eating with the seasons is a very important factor in Chinese medicine dietary therapy as it helps our body adapt to the environment around us. For example, it would be very unseasonal to have cucumbers in the middle of winter (when they should not be seasonally available) as this is the time to be consuming warming soups and stews. Globalisation has made it possible to eat all types of fruits and vegetables year round – and consequently this knowledge and way of eating is slowly fading away.
In Australia we are currently going through what the Chinese call Late Summer – this is when the summer season enters into its hottest days, whereby the sun has scorched the grasses, and the land has dried out. So with hot and dry conditions – eat all the cucumbers you like (well...in moderation). Late Summer is also the time that Chinese medicine connects with the digestive organs – so it is an important time to help nourish and support the spleen and stomach.
But given we are also going through an unseasonal wetter/colder summer due to La Nina we must also take this into account by not having too many of these cooling foods.
Check out Davina's late summer good food list and her zucchini slice recipe (next page)!
Davina's Late Summer Good Food List
Vegetables: cucumbers, eggplants, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, zucchini, corn, watercress, mushrooms. Fruits: Watermelon, tomatoes, mangoes, pineapple, papaya, coconut, berries, plums, cherries.
Protein: Tofu, tempeh, soy milk, fish, pork. Other – Mint, lotus root, seaweed, white fungus.
Have in moderation or avoid: Too much hot spicy foods, dairy, and alcohol.