Autumn: Digestion & Supportive Gut-Healing Foods

Contributor: Avery Geary
Photographer: Saffron & Sage
date here

Seasonally, Autumn is a time of change, growth, emotions and new beginnings. It is the season of harvest. It is a time to be open and get organized in preparation for winter. Your body is slowing beginning to adapt to cooler weather, creating a sense of space to welcome the winter months.

According to Traditional Chinese medicine, this season is the time to enhance digestion, which is essential for maintaining a healthy micro-biome and proper absorption of nutrients.  As the days are getting shorter and the air is much cooler, our bodies naturally crave warmer foods, that are comforting and nourishing. The light and easy-to-digest foods of summer and are slowing being replaced by heartier, astringent foods that provide warmth to the body.


In this season, foods to focus on reflect in correlation to the lungs and large intestine (solid organs associated with Autumn). In TCM, it is advised to cook with less water, at lower heat and for longer periods of time. Introducing salty and bitter foods is strongly encouraged to to move energy throughout your body inward and downward.


Element: Metal


Color: White


Emotion: Grief, and Melancholy


Tissue: Skin and Hair


Solid Organ: Lungs and Large Intestine


Sense: Nose and Smell


Foods to Support: These foods correlate with introducing bitter foods into your diet during the autumn months, as these are known to enhance digestion.


Best foods:

Probiotics - sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, miso

Greens - dark leafy greens

Fiber - whole grains, beans and legumes, whole grain fruit and vegetables


Other Supportive Foods

Aloe Vera: anti-inflammatory, alkalizing to soothe the digestive tract and balance pH, encourages digestive bacteria and stimulates bowel flow.


Bone Broth: balances gut bacteria, stimulates proper digestion to relieve gas, constipation and bloating. Anti-inflammatory.


Digestive Enzymes: work to stimulate proper digestion of nutrients by breaking down protein, fat and carbohydrates. Ensures adequate absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals from food.