Start of Winter is an important term of the 24 Solar Terms. It is the time for people to supplement and nourish our body.
Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) believes that the arrival of Winter is when the “yang” energy is hidden, the “yin” energy is in full swing. The activities of all life forms tend to stop or go into hibernation state recharging energy and preparing for the Spring when vitality resumes.
In winter, people's metabolism is relatively slower so we should focus on keeping warm. TCM principles suggests that we nourish our kidneys in winter time. Examples of kidney nourishing food includes mountain yam, black beans, black sesame, chestnut and goji berries.
It is also recommended to eat more meat, seafood and dairy that are rich in protein and fat to enhance the body's resistance to the cold. In places like Hong Kong where winter is milder, nourishment should focus on food that is ‘sweet’ slightly ‘warming’ such as chicken, duck, fish, nuts, and red dates. When the weather does become very cold, chili, Szechuan pepper, ginger, scallion and garlic can be appropriately added to the dishes to warm the body.