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Head Back to Your Roots

Cold and flu season is around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you have to start worrying. Moving forward into the winter season, an easy way to stay healthy is to fill up with tasty root vegetables!

Chinese Medicine always advocates living and eating with the seasons. This is usually easiest for people to do in the summertime, when fruits and vegetables abound. However, there is also a bounty of vegetables to be had during the winter.

Root vegetables have a much longer lifespan than leafy greens or other veggies. They spend a lot more time growing, which gives them ample time to absorb a wealth of nutrients and vitamins from the soil. This means that by the time they reach your table, they’re much more nutrient-dense than many other produce options. During the winter, these extra nutrients become necessary to get us through the colder season. Adding root vegetables to your winter diet is an easy way to get the extra energy you need to move through the winter without getting sick or ending up worn out.

Need ideas for how to incorporate root vegetables into your daily meal schedule? Sweet potatoes are an easy choice, as they can simply be baked in the oven and eaten as a side dish or even dessert. As with pumpkin, the orange color in sweet potatoes is indicative of a rich source of Vitamin A, which will help boost your immune system and support your respiratory health.

Additionally, the high levels of fiber will ensure that your colon stays regular, which is another important factor in order to avoid catching a cold. From the Chinese Medicine perspective, sinus congestion is typically linked to “congested” bowel movements. You need to focus on getting your digestion regular in order to lessen the pressure that can lead to stuffy noses and sinus congestion.

Chinese Medicine recognizes radishes as very useful in helping to clear through anything that is backed up in the colon, and therefore in helping to decongest the sinuses. Because of this, radishes are not only a tasty choice, but also a good one to support your overall health this winter. Try slicing some thinly and tossing into your salad, or cut them up and add them to your soup.

With root vegetables, the possibilities are endless. Experiment to find your favorite variety of squash, or try making baked sweet potato fries for a weeknight treat. Then rest easy, knowing that you’re giving your body the boost it needs to stay healthy throughout the winter.


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