Eat fresh, real foods to reset your health
Now that the season has changed from winter to spring, it’s time to shift our homes, schedules and foods to that of blooming warmer weather. It’s an important time to cleanse, to gently signal our bodies that the season has changed and to get rid of any leftover toxicity from winter.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spring season is associated with the liver and the element of wood. Here’s some natural ways to cleanse your gut with items you probably have at home.
Eat liver-cleansing foods
You can gently cleanse your liver, by incorporating certain following foods into your diet. Also, cutting back on alcohol and coffee will greatly help with this process – as it will give your hard-working liver a break. Dr Edward Group, naturopath and nutritionist, suggests adding the following 14 foods to cleanse your liver:
- Beets and Carrots
- Green Tea
- Leafy Green Vegetables
- Olive Oil
- Alternative Grains such as quinoa, millet or buckwheat
- Cruciferous Vegetables – such as broccoli and cauliflower
- Lemons and Limes
Eat fermented foods
Whether you prefer your probiotic in a pill form or in food, make sure to up your dosage while cleansing and shifting to the new season. Fermented foods such as kimchi, yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, tempeh, apple cider vinegar and miso soup are packed full of probiotics. When selecting a high-quality probiotic in pill form, always make sure it’s refrigerated when you buy it – not ones that are on the shelf.
Dr David Williams, medical researcher, biochemist and chiropractor, says you should read the labels and make sure the supplement contains the following:
- acidophilus – the key strain of the Lactobacillus species, which colonizes on the small intestine’s walls
- longum – also one of the most common, this strain helps support the gut wall’s integrity
- bifidum – vital for digestion of dairy, it’s located in both small and large intestines
Drink a liver tonic before bed
This easy-to-make elixir not only calms the liver and stomach, but helps you sleep better too! On an empty stomach before bed, drink a lemon and olive oil shot. This helps remove toxins from the body and is an excellent tonic for the liver and the gall bladder.
- Juice from ¼ – ½ lemon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Eat with the Season of Spring
Bright, crisp vegetables and lighter fare are desirable during springtime – both based on what’s available and what our bodies want. In Ayurvedic tradition, basing your diet on a seasonal rotation and relying on what’s being harvested each season is thought to bring your body into balance – how else did people eat without supermarkets, anyway?
Switching to a vegetarian-based diet, and reducing amount the fat, starch and fruit you eat, will allow greens to naturally cleanse the body and modulate body fat and mucus – while the antioxidants assist the liver.
Make a salad every day, using a variety of colorful fresh spring veggies, such as snap peas, carrots, radish, and fennel. A variety of lettuces are available to whet your taste buds: bib, butter, romaine, mâche and frisée. Finally, herbs add special flavor to salads, including scallions, mint, dill, chives, tarragon or sumac.
A spring-cleaning for your body doesn’t have to be miserable. Simply go to your local farmer’s market or health food store and take note of what’s in season. Talking to health professionals or experts at your local co-op always help too, especially for learning what produce is local to your area. Happy Spring!