Spring foods

Spring is a time of renewed growth in nature and in man – and therefore it is associated with Chinese medicine wood element. The wood element represents the force of renewal and growth, the ability to rejuvenate and bloom.Its main essence is the movement upwards and spreading in all directions, as can be seen in nature during this season.

According to Chinese medicine, the liver represents the energy of spring within the body.This concept is confirmed by western medicine as the liver is considered to be one of the most vital organs for cleaning and renewing blood.

Spring is the time to implement plans and use the power reserves and ideas that have accumulated during winter. After the hidden under the surface quite activity of winter, spring is the time for revealing the stored powers accumulated and bringing them to action. From a physical point a view, it is important to resume a more active life style, exercise frequently and spend more time outdoors, preferably in a natural or wild environment.

When life style, eating habits and nutrition are in harmony with the movement of spring, the liver will function properly leading to a dynamic state of health. When the liver is out of balance, it is common to see spring symptoms such as allergy signs (skin rash, tears and itching of the eyes or nose, catarrh, sneezing) phlegm, dyspnea, sinusitis, sore throat, muscle tension and irritation. To prevent spring disharmonies, one should adapt life style and diet to the spring weather.

Spring allergies

As soon as temperatures begin to rise, the body’s pattern shifts from building and accumulating to releasing and cleansing. The body starts to breakdown fats and stagnated phlegm away from tissues and into the blood. As your layer of winter fat begins to melt into the blood, it thickens your blood provoking blood congestion and obstruction. The thick blood causes pressure in the ears, eyes, nose, upper respiratory congestion, sinus infections, or a flood like release of allergic mucus. Late winter & early spring are thus ideal seasons for beginning a new diet and losing weight. Spring fasting, a tradition of many different societies, helps cleanse the blood and resolve congestion after a long winter of fatty, heavy foods.

Even though flowers release pollen all summer long, many people are more sensitive to pollen in the springtime. If it seems your allergies to pollen are more easily triggered in springtime, it is most likely your blood is too congested. Your body metabolizes winter fats in the springtime, making your blood rich, sweet & thick. When afflicted in this way with congested blood, any single grain of pollen provokes a flood of mucus.

For many, a good way to minimize mucus and clear blood congestion is by cutting back on foods that have similar qualities to mucus. Mucus is thick, sticky, slimy and heavy. Foods that fall into this category are dairy products (especially cheese), flour products, sweet foods and meat.

Foods to favor have the qualities of light, clear, dry, and hot. These include most spices such as ginger, turmeric, black pepper, horseradish, ajuwan and cumin. Light foods include buckwheat, quinoa, mung beans, and most vegetables, especially bitter green leafy vegetables, sprouts, radishes, parsley, and rocket.

Spring liver congestion

As the layer of winter fat begins to melt into the blood, it thickens the blood provoking liver congestion. Blood that is too dense and thick clogs circulation and the liver. Liver congestion is responsible for the formation of “composting heat” in the liver, causing symptoms of spring such as stiff muscles, arterial plaque buildup, mucus & infectious disease, hay fever and skin outbreaks.

Liver cleansing

Launch a cleansing diet with fresh, less cooked foods than the winter diet. Eat fresh wild herbs and sprouts that contain spring energy, innovation, freshness and an expansion movement, to absorb the renewal energy of the spring.

Spring season is the perfect time for detoxification and therefore eating less is necessary. This is the best way to clean excess and refresh the Liver. Just reduce the amount of food.

Spring foods have acombination of sweet, spicy, bitter and sour flavors:

Basil, rosemary, bay leaves, dill, rocket – an example of pungent bitter herbs

Starchy vegetables, bulbs like beets, roots like carrots, or sprouted legumes – provide sweetness

Lime, lemon, plums, loquat, apricot – slightly sour 

Tips to Break up Congestion

Avoid oily, rich, heavy and sweet food

Favor bitter greens vegetables

Spice your food with hot, pungent and bitter spices

Incorporate diuretic herbs such as nettle tea

Conservatively use mild laxatives such as Aloe Vera

Spring diet

As obvious in nature, the predominant color of food during spring will be green. The food should be cooked lightly to retain freshness, vitamins and enzyme content. Cooking methods include soaking in boiling water, stir-frying, steaming, short cooking, and fresh green salads.Generally, eat a dry Kapha pacifying diet favoring bitters. Drying grains such as barley and corn are appropriate. Use warming spices like ginger and turmeric to ward off blood stagnation. Warming bitters like dandelion and arugula will also aid fat metabolism. Take Triphala to keep bowels clear and aid the cleansing process. Avoid heavy, oily, sweet and salty foods such as red meat and dairy.

Cereal grains: corn, rye, barley

Legumes: Green mung bean, dry green peas, Tempeh

Vegetables: sprouts, string beans, green peas, celery, endive, green onions, chives, leeks, broccoli, artichokes, asparagus, cabbage, bock-choy, lettuce, chard, spinach, rocket, water cress, parsley, coriander, dill, shiitake mushrooms, and root vegetables that ripen during the spring and clean the liver such as radish and daikon.

Oils (cold pressed):pumpkin seeds and oil,sunflower seeds and oil.

Algae: Wakame, freshwater seaweed such as spirulina, chlorella, blue green.

Fruits: strawberry, mulberry,sour apples, lemon, plums, loquat, apricot.

Spices: turmeric, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, anise stars, rosemary, thyme, oregano.

During spring, wild plants bestow a green coloring to the fields. The use of wild herbs in home cooking brings to our plate the wildest and most organic quality there is. The use of these plants is in line with the Chinese medicine perspective of spring diet – they are exactly in season, fresh, and help the body cleanse and renew the liver from a heavy and suffocating winter diet.

Spring fasting

Fasting enables cleansing of the old and renewal of both physical and spiritual. For the fast to be effective, normal bowel movements should be ensured by the consumption of fibers and/or olive oil. Herbal teas such as marigolds / licorice / anise / fennel are considered gentle laxatives that are useful for emptying the intestines.

Fasting options:

Fasting with water only – for acute cases and under professional supervision

Fasting with vegetable and fruit juices only, for 5-10 days. Good for stagnation and accumulation of toxins in strong individuals with significant signs of excess phlegm and heat such as overweight, high blood pressure, skin diseases, offensive body odor, red face. Under professional supervision

Organic whole-grain rice fast and green vegetables only, for 10 days. Good for mild-phlegm stagnation

Organic whole-grain rice, mung beans, steamed and fresh vegetables only, for 10 days. Good for gentle people and mild phlegm stagnation

There are endless variations of cleansing processes and combinations of juices and food that enable cleansing and rejuvenation. The cleansing process should be customized individually for each person.

Spring loss of appetite

In the spring, food seems to lose its taste and appeal for people with congested blood. As winter melts into spring, your body naturally prepares for warmer weather by metabolizing winter fats. These fats kept you warm all winter long but now must be cleansed from your body. The sign of nature’s ‘spring cleaning’ is losing your appetite for the heavy, rich foods of winter.Instead, your body gets the calories it needs from the stored fat in your body. Another common phenomenon is the appearance of a sour or bitter taste in the mouth that is not relieved by eating or drinking.

Many people resist their disappointment with food, the loss of appetite or the bad taste in the mouth this time of year. People may pick at food and snack all day long looking for satisfaction. The more food fails to bring delight, the more they keep eating. You might find yourself drifting from the fridge to the pantry, and back again. Yet nothing seems to relieve the vague aversion to food you might be feeling.Instead of fighting your taste buds, allow your appetite to wane with warmer weather. Many cultures honor this time of year with traditional fasting. This will stimulate a natural release of insulating fats that kept you so warm during winter. As you begin your spring fast, your mind will feel clear. Eating a light diet in early spring will prevent spring hay fever later. You’ll enjoy losing some winter weight as well. Rest assured, the enjoyment from food will return soon.

When you eat, the best foods to satisfy your appetite in spring are naturally crunchy foods. Try celery, bean sprouts, and raw carrots for example. Spring is a naturally damp time of year when the ground feels soggy and wet. Crunchy foods oppose the sogginess of early spring. Enjoy bitter greens and salads which will stimulate fat metabolism and natural detox. You might enjoy adding a bit of spice to food in the spring, such as ajuwan& cumin, which help you feel warm and dry.


Superior Health and Disease Prevention in a 5-Day miraculous Life-Changing Challenge!