Seasonal Body Support For Late Summer!

Aug 19, 2011

Late Summer Body Support

Time to care for your stomach, spleen, pancreas, muscles and the earth element.

“Late summer, between the heat of the summer and the coolness of the fall, is correlated with the earth element in Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is a time to take in nourishment of all kinds that will sustain us physically, emotionally, and spiritually through the rest of the year – great food, a family vacation, good music and other enriching experiences” – Sat Dharam Kaur

So it’s that time of year again! The days are hot and the nights are cool….what could be better?? With the promise of fall in the air, late Summer is a pre-change of seasons. So, how do we support our bodies in the change of season before the change of season?

Here we go!


Improve digestion…in the stomach!

Stimulate Hydrochloric Acid Production
This is interesting…for all of you out there suffering from GERD and hyperacidity. Think again! Often the symptoms of low stomach acid mimic the symptoms of high acidity. Most patients I test are actually suffering from poor acid production. Stimulating stomach acid reduces a number of digestive issues, headaches, joint aches, bad breath and improves sleep.

{Ask your Naturopathic Doctor about improving stomach acid production!}

Gentle ways to boost stomach acid:

Relax while you eat! Chew slowly, smell your food and minimize the amount of liquid you consume while eating.
Drink 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar in a little water 15 minutes before lunch and dinner.

Regulate Blood Sugar
Cutting out processed, highly sugary foods is the easiest way to get your blood sugar on track. Also, eating every 2-3 hours, eating a bit of healthy fat and protein with every meal/snack and consuming plenty of fibre will prevent sugar highs and lows.

In terms of supplements, chromium, fish oils and protein powders are all helpful.

*Forget artificial sweeteners! According to TCM, the pancreas and spleen are both negatively affected by the excessive sweetness of artificial sweeteners, regardless of caloric content! 

Late Summer Foods
Break out the juicer folks. Carrot juice is one of the most delicious things…especially with the fresh local carrots coming straight from the ground these days. Carrot juice is jam packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes and helps to heal the stomach lining.

Warming foods are great for the spleen: rice, oats, spelt, winter squash, carrot, rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, chickpeas, black beans, sweet potato, yam and pumpkin.

Small amounts of sweet food also strengthen the spleen, while LARGE amounts weaken it. Try small amounts of rice syrup, barley malt, agave, molasses, cherry, and date.

For the pancreas: cinnamon, garlic, fenugreek, burdock root, walnuts

Foods to Avoid
Sugar, citrus fruit, highly sugary foods, dairy, excess meat, fatty foods. The usual:)

Honouring the Earth Element
Compost, plant an organic garden, support local farmers and other sustainable farming practices. Let keep the soil free from pesticides and herbicides!

Written by: Jillian Murphy, BSc.Kin, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine