Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration, growth and energy. The plants and animals awaken from the slumber of the cold winter months. The important nutrients stored in the roots of the plants and the bodies of the animals, reach the surface and life becomes more colorful and fluid. Human beings are no different. People tend to stay indoors more during the winter months and sometimes pack on a little extra weight in the process. As the weather warms, we become more gregarious and spend more time outside enjoying nature. This is just a natural process.
For Better Health, Look to Nature
It makes sense that what was observed by the ancient Chinese should still hold true today. People are supposed to take their cues from nature. As a species, we should be more active during the warmer spring months. And to do this, we need proper nourishment. Qi (pronounced “chee”) is sometimes translated into energy. This Qi is the crucial substance to keep our bodies in its optimal function till we are no longer alive. Qi remains plentiful with the help of required foods at proper times.
During the spring, we should be eating foods that have upward energies, such as green, sprouting vegetables. But we also require foods to provide us with extra nutrients necessary for the increased amounts of activity that go along with spring season. Here, sweeter foods play a significant role. But be careful not to overdo it. Excess sweet can burden the body, making it inactive.
According to Chinese Medicine theory, spring is the season of the liver and the gallbladder. These organs regulate a smooth flow of energy throughout the whole body. Since we do not take care of ourselves, they are vulnerable to stagnation. This appears as anger, irritability, depression, insomnia and even pain. Stagnation results when people eat excess amounts of poor quality foods with chemicals overload in them.
Here are 5 foods recommended to eat throughout the season of spring:
Green Foods: During spring, it is advised to eat foods green in color and high in chlorophyll that help increase rejuvenation of the liver. This includes things like spirulina, chlorella, parsley, wheat grass, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens.
Radishes: With strong flavor, radishes are ideal food for the spring time. They help run the liver Qi and open up the liver meridian.
Sour Citrus Fruits: Foods like lemons, limes and grapefruit are all good choices that help cut fats that may have been stored up in the body during the winter months, while also moving the liver Qi smoothly.
Bitter Leafy Greens: Spring is the appropriate time for liver cleansing, which is what the bitter flavor does. So including things like dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio, mustard greens and spinach will help extensively.
A Little Sweetness: Think young vegetables such as young carrots and beets. This nourishes the blood and helps keep you vital during all the new activity.
Just make sure you're lightly cooking the foods to keep them "middle burner" friendly and to allow your body to easily digest all of the nutrients!
If you want to talk more about Chinese nutritional therapy or Chinese medicine, you can reach out to me directly at Sage Mountain Acupuncture.