Winter is the time to nourish and nurture your kidneys. From a traditional Chinese medicine perspective we store our energy in our kidneys. This energy is known as 'Jing' or 'Essence' of Life. It is fundamental energy created when we are conceived, essentially, we are born with a certain amount of Jing, and as we age our Jing depletes.
However, in this day and age we are experiencing early onset of Jing deficiency. Jing is known to be depleted by a number of lifestyle factors; stress, overwork, poor diet, poor sleep, excessive behaviour, pregnancy, chronic illness, environmental toxins. The symptoms associated with kidney/bladder imbalance or Jing deficiency include infertility, impotence, easy exhaustion, need stimulants such as coffee to keep energy levels high, fear, panic attacks, ringing in the ears, premature graying, loss of head hair, lower back pain, to name a few.
Here are my top 5 ways to restore your Jing;
1. Qigong is the most effective way to replenish our Jing, increasing our longevity and quality of life
2. Eating seasonal organic produce
3. Eating salty foods i.e. miso, fermented vegetables, sea vegetables
4. Dark/black foods are associated with containing Jing i.e. raw cacao, black rice, black sesame seeds, black chia seeds, black beans, brown lentils, kidney beans (also nourishing because they are the shape of our kidneys)
5. Be mindful - meditate, journal, breath, read a book, relax and rest.