Simple Steps for Spring
Your liver, humbly situated under your rib cage on the right side, does an impressive 400-plus things for you each day, including the filtration of toxins (like alcohol, drugs, and germs). There’s lots you can do to show it some love and help it to function effectively.
I love that fresh produce gets growing come spring and we can start to enjoy local asparagus, baby greens, dandelion greens, radishes and spinach to get some important minerals and fibre into our bods. Steam or grill the asparagus, put the dandelion greens in a salad or through your juicer, dip radishes is your favourite hummus, and pour hot soup over organic baby spinach or blend it up in a berry smoothie. Just be sure that at least half your plate is covered in vegetables at every meal! While not necessarily in season, the liver is especially fond of the phytonutrients of veg in the Brassica family, like bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards and kale.
The mention of sour brings citrus to mind of course, so start spiking your water with fresh lemon juice. This is especially beneficial and refreshing to do first thing in the morning (I’m talking pre-coffee, if that’s part of your established wake-up routine). Limes are just fine too.
If you’re often feeling angry, now may be the time to take a look at it. Five minutes of conscious breathing – first thing in the morning, last thing at night, or whenever you need it – makes a real difference when you make it a daily habit. If something really gets on your nerves, instead of delving into those pissy feelings, make a deliberate effort to come back to the nicest feeling you have access to. It could be something or someone in your life you feel good about, or simply the smell of spring in the air.
Staying Healthy with the Seasons by Elson Haas, MD
Food and Healing by Annemarie Colbin
(This article appears as the cover story in the Toronto Vegetarian Association's newsletter, Lifelines, but I thought you might like to read it, too.)