Based on 5 element theory from ancient Chinese medicine, millet is the grain that is most beneficial during Indian Summer. Millet nourishes the spleen, pancreas and stomach and is related
to the Earth element. Millet helps us feel more grounded. Sweet is the taste for this season. Millet is considered to have a slightly sweet flavor when cooked correctly. Winter squash, pumpkin, sweet potato and parsnips are the kind of sweet taste that will prepare our bodies for the cooler autumn days ahead. By eating these foods and less summer fruits and salads we warm our bodies to ward off those autumn coughs and sniffles. Chickpeas are the legumes most nourishing for Indian Summer so try incorporating some of them into your meals as well. Millet, sweet ground and root vegetables and chickpeas are great foods for building our inner reserves. They call it our, “Jing” in the Daoist tradition. We can also think of it as our battery pack. Jing is restored by getting good sleep, eating healthy foods and having a regular exercise program. I mentioned sweet taste above. The five tastes are sweet, pungent, salty, sour and bitter. We are most in balance within ourselves and with nature when we get all five tastes, not only every day, but also within each meal.