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Spring is here!

TCM Spring food advice!

As we welcome the season of new birth and new growth, Spring requires another change in the way we prepare and adapt to the new conditions ahead. How can we eat according to this lovely season, to prevent any seasonal illnesses or a relapse of chronic diseases?
 And for those who suffer from allergies, learn what you can do to help reduce or even prevent those not so fun symptoms. If you have read our Publication of Heart Rise 001 and 002, you would now know that the food guidance is based on Chinese Medicine principles. And again the importance of understanding what organs are related to the current season is the simple rule of thumb.

So Spring is the beautiful changeover between Yin (Winter) and Yang (Summer), the time where the Yang energy is building slowly, where we see the buds begin to open and our fruits of our labour begin, it is also a good idea to also build your momentum slowly. Spring is related to the element of 'Wood' and in turn dominates the function of the super important Liver and Gall bladder. It is recommended to increase the flavours of sweet and pungent and decrease the intake of sour flavours (lemons, limes, apple cider vinegar
hawthorn berries, inca berries & pickles). Pungent flavours facilitates the Liver to regulate the qi throughout the whole body. Just as we associate the vibrant colours and new growth to the colour green, so too is this colour related to Liver and Gall bladder.
So naturally foods that are green and rich in chlorophyll are what we need to be eating, along with:

  • Foods that are rich in chlorophyll


  • Fresh green leafy vegetables


  • Cereal grasses like wheat or barley grass juice

  • Micro algae like spirulina, blue-green & chlorella

  • Spinach


  • Parsley


  • Kale, 
Swiss chard ,Collard greens

  • 
Green onions,
 Garlic, 
Leeks


  • Cabbage

  • 
Sweet potato

  • 
Carrot

  • 
Beetroot


  • Peas


  • Mustard greens

  • 
Dates


  • Coriander

  • 
Shitake mushrooms

  • 
Bamboo shoots, 
Watercress
 Sprouts

  • 
Sunflower seeds
Pine nuts

  • Turmeric, basil, cardamon, marjoram, cumin, fennel

For allergy sufferers:

For those who suffer with Spring time allergies, this is normally due to problematic heat and inflammation in your Liver. It is recommended to increase your intake of foods which are 'bitter' in flavour.

Also if your seasonal allergies are quite persistent, seeing a chinese herbalist is also a fantastic idea to assist would be recommended. Bitter Foods

  • Asparagus

  • 
Romaine lettuce

  • Sourdough Rye bread

  • Sauerkraut, horseradish

  • Amaranth
, quinoa


  • Radish leaves

  • Citrus peel

  • Dandelion, chamomile

  • 
milk thistle seeds

Unlike Winter where foods needed to be cooked slow and medium heat, Spring requires that vegetables be cooked for a shorter time but at a higher temperature. This ensure the the food especially the interior is slightly cooked and also think lightly steaming or simmering at a shorter time. Spring is also the only time recommended to do any type of detox as this suits the Liver at this time and doesn't put any unnecessary stress on the organ. 
One simple way of doing this is first thing in the morning you can drink warm water with a slice of lemon or try 1 teaspoon each of apple cider vinegar and raw honey in one cup of water. Mint tea throughout the day is another excellent remedy for soothing liver qi (energy). Its also advised to avoid heavy foods, fried oily foods, dairy, poorly sourced meats and large quantities of nuts (including nut butters). The Liver is also related to the emotions of anger, frustration, jealousy, stress, resentment but also decision making. So experiencing any of these emotions over a prolonged period of time can also aggravate and stagnate the Liver (we will be discussing emotional connections to organs in future publications). If you are experiencing any of these emotions through Spring may be a good idea to also follow the food advice for those with allergies and even a Liver detox. Spring Tip: take the opportunity to keep wearing a scarf as the Spring Winds can tend to be unpredictable and guess what? Yes 'Wind' can actually stir the Liver and make you feel irritable, out of balance and on edge! A scarf will protect the Wind from entering your body through your neck and your health diet will build your immune system! Happy Spring! Great article on why spring is the best time to do a detox according to TCM

http://www.tcmworld.org/why-do-a-liver-cleanse-and-detox-in-the-springtime/

 

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