In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) autumn means it’s time to add more warming ingredients to your food.

“In Chinese medicine, the stomach is likened to a pot on a stove with the upper burner containing the heart and lungs, a middle burner containing the spleen and stomach as well as a lower burner containing the kidneys, intestines, liver and reproductive organs. The stomach is the pot of the middle burner and the spleen is the fire under the pot. The spleen’s function is to distill the purest parts of the food sending pure parts up to the lungs and heart to create Qi within the lungs and blood within the heart. The stomach sends down the impure parts of the food to be further transformed by the large intestine.” (1)
Squash is used by traditional Chinese medicine to detoxify, quench thirst, relieve irritability, alleviate skin lesions, remedy urination difficulty, and treat edema.

Winter squash is packed with vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). It is also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber, manganese, omega-3 fatty acids, copper, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), and B9 (folate).

Beta-carotene, the most abundant nutrient in winter squash, has been found to have very powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Beta-carotene may help to prevent hardening of the arteries, protect against diabetic heart disease, reduce the risk of colon cancer, and reduce the severity of inflammatory conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis. (2)

We often recommend cooked squash to our clients with loose bowel movements and hemorrhoids.

Try this fantastic recipe (3) to warm you from the inside out!

  • 1 medium acorn squash (clears heat, detoxifies, promotes urination, and quenches thirst).

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (improve circulation, improve digestion and decrease loose stool)

  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar

  • 1 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt, divided

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place halves facing up on foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, mix together coconut oil and cinnamon. Spread each half of the flesh of the acorn squash with the coconut oil and cinnamon mixture. Place 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in the middle of each half and rub into the squash. Bake for 45 min-1 hour or until squash is fork tender.

Once squash is done, allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. When squash is warm, scoop 1/2 cup yogurt into each squash half. Drizzle each with a teaspoon of honey and pecans. Serves 2. Enjoy!

1. DAO Labs

2. Ask Dr. Mao
3. Recipe from Ambitious Kitchen