In Traditional Chinese Medicine there are five natural elements within us. Each season corresponds to a particular element; winter’s corresponding element is water. Our kidneys determine the flow of water through the body and are our storehouse source of energy. In the winter it is important to nurture our kidneys, since this is a time when our energy can most easily be depleted. Last week we talked about the importance of rest for rejuvenating the kidneys. This week we will focus on foods that help promote yin and the water element, as a way to keep the kidneys hydrated and supported. 

Salt is essential for the kidneys, it encourages yin and fluid balance during winter which is a season of intense dehydration. Salt is stored in the kidneys, where its anchoring nature builds strength in the body. When thinking about salt we want to avoid processed foods and bleached table salt. Instead we want to opt for high quality salt, such as Himalayan or sea salt. We also want to incorporate foods that are naturally high in salt and trace minerals.

Salty Beneficial Foods for Winter: 

  • Seaweed: kelp, kombu, wakame, nori and agar agar
  • Brined Food: olives, pickles
  • Fermented and Pickled Foods: kimchi, miso, pickles, tamari, and soy sauce