Spring is a time of renewal, regeneration, growth and energy. The plants and animals awaken from the slumber of the cold winter months. The vital nutrients that have been stored in the roots of the plants and the bodies of the animals, comes to the surface and life becomes more vibrant and fluid. Human beings are no different. Humans tend to stay indoors more during the winter months and sometimes pack on a little extra weight in the process. As the weather warms, humans become more gregarious and spend more time outside enjoying nature. This is just a natural process.
Spring is all about energy, growth, renewal and regenerations. It so easy to be and feel cut off from the seasons and the natural rhythm with our modern lives but we humans can and should take our direction from nature. Use the added boost of the season to make changes you’ve been meaning to implement!
In the Spring logical foods are those with upward moving energy like green, sprouting vegetables. But we also need foods that will provide the extra nourishment needed for the increased amounts of activity that accompany the season of spring. This is where sweeter foods play a vital role. But, as always, be careful not to overdo it.
Spring is the season associated with the liver and the gallbladder. These organs regulate a smooth flow of energy throughout the whole body but can become “stuck” and stagnant if we don’t take care of ourselves. Often this shows up as anger, irritability, depression, insomnia and even pain. Stagnation can also occur when people eat too many foods of poor quality that may be full of chemicals.
Below are some recommended foods for Spring:
- Green Foods: During spring, it is recommended to eat foods green in color and rich in chlorophyll that help accelerate rejuvenation of the liver. This includes things like spirulina, chlorella, parsley, wheat grass, kale, Swiss chard and collard greens.
- Radishes: They help move 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. By their nature, they also help to keep liver qi moving naturally.
- Bitter Leafy Greens: Spring is the appropriate time for liver cleansing, which is what the bitter flavor does so well. Dandelion greens, arugula, radicchio, mustard greens and spinach will help tremendously.
- Chicken: This is the appropriate time of year to enjoy pasture-raised, locally grown chicken. Make a delicious and liver friendly meal by pairing chicken with any of the above mentioned foods.
We are so lucky to live here in San Diego where an abundance of farmers markets deliver all of these things organically and direct to your neighborhood.
If you live in San Diego, contact me if you’d like to learn more about eating with the seasons and how acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine can benefit you.
Riley Smith LAc, MSTOM, DiplOM
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist in San Diego, California
Normal Heights, University Heights, North Park and Mission Hills