Why do we need to detox in Spring
With the arrival of spring upon us — with Kashmiri New Year Navreh, Guddi Padwa, and Baisakhi – let’s talk about the elements of spring energy. One usually starts feeling the change in energy, apart from the heat in April/May; so we must eat the right foods prepared in the way best suited to the season to help us stay light and balanced.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, each organ corresponds to a season, taste, and many other qualities. As a Macrobiotic practitioner, it provides me with the foundation for understanding, diagnosing and treating disease. This time of the year, our bodies begin to open up, and are reactivated; and there is a need to clean and discharge the excesses that the upward rise in energy produces in the form of toxins that get stirred up in the liver and stomach. It is the best season to detox, the vital organs most associated with this time of the year are liver, gall bladder, spleen, stomach and pancreas
Foods to use for a detox in Spring
Including seasonal organic foods in your diet strengthens the corresponding organ for that season. Foods that would nurture the liver and gallbladder are: barley (grain), anything growing upward such as sprouts , leeks, celery, parsley, dill (suha), coriander, green onions, lettuce, any leafy greens. Since the taste of the liver is ‘sour’ foods such as lime, green apples and apple cider vinegar will help discharge liver excesses. It’s a good idea to add shiitake mushrooms in your diet as it dissolves fat in the liver. The spleen, stomach and pancreas would benefit from: millets (of the sweeter variety: foxtail millet), melons and the sweetness of vegetables sought from corn, carrots, onions and cabbage as these organs are benefitted by a sweet taste.
Also add cooling foods to activate your body: chia, watermelon, honeydew melon, cucumber, mint, sesame, white raddish, pomegranete, coconut water, fennel (saunf), khus khus (poppy seeds), fenugreek seeds (methi).
Spring-early summer cooking styles are blanching, quick sauté, medium boil, steaming, one-hour pressed salad (with rock/sea salt), go in for boiled grains (as opposed to pressure cooking; which should be avoided as a cooking style in this weather), and quick marinated pickles. Try and avoid alcohol, sugar (extremely expansive causing liver energy to rise quickly and resulting in migraines) subsequently weakening digestion, too much fruit (anything over 500 grams a day), and reduce oil and salt intake.
Carrot Sprouted Mung Bean Salad (Serves 4).
- Green sprouted mung (steamed): ¼ cup.
- Carrot: One, large, and grated.
- Red bell pepper: ½, skinned and diced.
- Ginger: 1 tsp, grated.
- Lemon juice: 2 tbsp.
- Mustard seeds: ½ tsp.
- Green chilli: 1 small, chopped.
- Curry leaves: 10.
- Fresh coriander: 1 tbsp.
In a skillet, heat oil, and add mustard seeds and let them pop. When popping stops, add chilli, curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds. Now add this to green sprouted mung, red bell pepper, ginger and carrots. Add coriander leaves and lime-toss in the oil dressing gently before serving.