By now you would have probably heard me talk about acupuncture and the amazing benefits I've had after bringing it into my life. If not, go here and here. Today I've got a great guest post to share with you from my acupuncture guru, David Haynes, all about supporting your body with the right foods through Spring. If you're in the Northern hemisphere keep this post on file, but you might find this post more helpful for your current season.
When Kate asked me to write a guest post for her, I thought, how am I going to choose what to share? I am known as a ‘show bag’ by my friends - I have a lot of random information running around in my head which I like to share! Kate suggested I talk about spring and its relation to the body, I jumped at the chance as there is so much great info for this time of year. Use this as a guide not the be all and end all of end health.
Spring is the time to get up and do. It is the season of activity. A time of stirring after the cold of winter. Spring is the season to eat foods with upward energies, such as young, green, sprouting, above ground vegetables.
With the onset of spring, we start to loosen up as energy in the body begins to move up. Appetite eases as the body shakes off the need to store energy as it did over the colder months. With the environments subtle support as the weather changes, people who want to lose weight can take advantage of the natural trends of spring to help them do more and eat less.
The liver and the gallbladder are the internal organs that are in the spotlight during spring. If the liver and gallbladder are supported and balanced during spring, the entire body will benefit immensely and be set up with the best possible health foundation to be strong in the seasons to come.
Sour flavour is associated with the liver. It is also astringent and contracting, gathering fluid and protecting the blood. Unhealthy eating habits, strong emotions such as aggression, anger and rage, and a hectic and stressful lifestyle produce liver heat and impair liver function.
Spring is a great time to detox, but be aware if you have been over indulging over winter all of those toxins are going to be angry and floating around the body. This will increase your unwanted detox symptoms like headaches, nausea and fatigue. I suggest cleaning your eating up for a few weeks before hitting a hard detox, this will allow your liver to slowly get rid of those toxins, and encourages a healthier lifestyle change, rather than a fleeting moment of ‘clarity’.
So, what should I eat?
To thrive through Spring, you should incorporate foods that get the energy up and moving, that support the liver, remove heat and toxins, and support the spleen.
In general, foods that are good for spring are warm ascending sweet foods. In early spring, try cabbage, sweet potato, carrot and beetroot. As the weather changes, move to mint, sweet rice, shiitake mushrooms, peas, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and in late spring, cherries.
Gently warming and pungent foods are particularly good for spring. These include fennel, oregano, rosemary, caraway, dill, bay leaf, grains, legumes and seeds. Pungent flavoured foods stimulate circulation of qi (chee) and blood, moving energy up and out.
Spring is a great time to start to new exercise routines, eat healthily and get out of that cave you have been in all winter. Enjoy the new growth and flowering plants, and maybe take the time to have a good look at your health!