We are into the Qiu Fen (秋分) solar terms (节气) starting from the 23 Sept to 08 Oct 2023. Qiu Fen is the 16th Solar Terms out of the entire 24th.
Fen (分), in Chinese means divide. This also means that the Qiu Fen (秋分) solar terms separates the first half and the second half of Autumn. After 23 Sept, we will be into the second half of the Autumn.
After Qiu Fen, the daytime will gradually shorten and the nighttime will gradually lengthen. The temperature will also get cooler after Qiu Fen as we step into the second half of the Autumn.
As the air gets cooler (and drier) in Qiu Fen, most people will tend to cough more as the lungs get easily irritated by the dry air. We would need to moisturize our lungs (润肺) by eating foods like white fungus, pear, .. etc. The following are some diet recommendations you can follow in this Qiu Fen solar term.
One of the traditions during Qiu Fen is to eat yam biscuits. But having said so, you don’t really need to go out and find yam biscuits… Just considering adding yam into your diet will be sufficient.
Yam is a nutritional food that most people can safely eat. It has a thermal nature of neutral. This means people (who have heaty or cold body constitution) can eat it without worries.
The most significant property of yam is that it strengthens the spleen. This is important in Qiu Fen solar term because when people eat cold or raw stuff, these foods can weaken the spleen. Yam can strengthen the spleen but make sure you cook it thoroughly to remove its allergens.
Yam can also aid digestion and relieve constipation. An easy way to include yam into your diet is to add chopped pieces of yam into your rice cooker and cook it with your favorite grains or brown rice.
In Qiu Fen, the environment will be cool and dry (凉燥). Hence, we need to eat foods that have warm and moisturizing properties like black sesame, walnut, lotus root, pear, hawthorn, apple, lily (百合), and white fungus.
A good habit in Qiu Fen is to drink lightly salted water in the morning and take some honey at night. But take note for people already having sticky stools, avoid taking honey as it will worsen the situation. For people with constipation, honey is a good supplement to take in the evening.
A note of caution is that during the later part of Qiu Fen, the temperature will get cooler and people with weak spleen will get diarrhea or experience loose and sticky stools at times.
It is best to avoid cold drinks and foods in this Qiu Fen solar term as it can cause stomach upset in people with weak spleen. You can consider eating chinese yam or si shen soup to strengthen your spleen.
An Easy-To-Prepare Fruit Salad
In Qiu Fen, some of the elderly may find their constipation issue worsen. If so, the following is an easy-to-prepare fruit salad that anyone can prepare to relieve constipation during this period.
- Banana 100g
- Apple 100g
- Mulberry 50g
De-skin the banana and apple and cut it to small pieces. Wash and rinse the mulberries then mix them together with the apple and banana.
Banana has a strong property of relieving constipation, it can also moisturize and cools the lungs.
Apple can increase the movement of the intestine and hence, helps to relieve constipation too.
Mulberries have been known as a great fruit to nourish the Yin energy in our body. And Qiu Fen is a great time for Yin nourishment.
Important notes: Make sure to choose the banana that is fully ripe because bananas that are not fully ripe will encourage constipation rather than relieve it! Also, apple skin has an ingredient that can stop diarrhea, hence if you want to eat apples to relieve constipation, then eat them without the skin.
General well-being recommendation
It is good to exercise during this Qiu Fen solar term as it helps to build up immunity against flu and sinusitis since the temperature can change pretty fast. So make sure you keep warm at all times to avoid getting cold out of a sudden.
After a good exercise, you can consider eating foods that moisturize the lungs like black sesame, pear, and white fungus.
If you have been sweating a lot during the exercises, then you can try drinking water (with added salt) to replenish the lost liquid.
I hope you find these recommendations useful in this Qiu Fen solar term!