When we think about springtime tasks, the first thing that usually comes to mind is spring cleaning. Many of us focus on commonly neglected parts of our home and work to get our entire space looking spic and span. As you think about spring cleaning, consider cleaning another place that is often neglected - your liver!
Let me explain: Traditional Chinese Medicine tells us that spring is the season of the liver and gallbladder. It’s also a time to begin to detoxify your body and help release stagnation that may have occurred while eating heavier foods over the winter. A liver detox is the perfect way to help you have a healthier, happier spring.
Five Spring Detox Tips
If you are considering doing an internal spring cleaning this season, be sure to read the below five tips, and download my free liver detox handout before you begin your journey.
1. Eat for spring
Often, the foods that are most healthy and most effectively satisfy our needs are in-season when we need them. So, when you begin your detox, eat whole, fresh fruits and vegetables as much as possible. Here in Oregon fruits and vegetables that are in season or which should become ripe over spring include:
Early cherries and raspberries
Many leafy greens like chard, collard greens, kale, lettuce, watercress and sorrel
Many herbs like mint, parsley, and oregano
Eating whole fruits and vegetables in place of things like wheat, dairy products, and meat can help to support your liver during a detox. Making sure they are seasonal is an added bonus as these foods are at their ideal freshness and have developed the most easy-to-digest vitamins and minerals.
* Hint: Enjoy fun recipes like this one for your springtime meals.
2. Eat thoughtfully
One of the reasons our livers often need a detox by spring is because we ate heavy foods and large meals over the winter and throughout the holidays. Overeating or eating very rapidly can become a habit exceptionally easily. Instead of trying to eat as quickly as possible or eating at your desk in front of a computer, give yourself some time to eat slowly and really enjoy your meal.
3. Use acupuncture or cupping to support your detox
Tell your acupuncturist what you’d like to accomplish with your detoxification, and he will use the proper techniques to assist you. Acupuncture is a great way to benefit liver health and overall well-being, while cupping can help draw out the toxins as your system releases them.
4. Drink plenty of healthy liquids
Juicing or making smoothies of whole fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to help your body absorb all of the essential vitamins and minerals contained in your food. Additionally, drinking plenty of water is an essential part of flushing out toxins.
Another helpful liquid to assist your detox is tea. Green tea can be sipped in the morning and nettle, chrysanthemum, or peppermint tea are all wonderful after-meal drinks.
5. Find ways to reduce stress throughout the day
Stress has a significant impact on our health, so it’s important to focus on stress relief throughout your day. Take time out to focus on positive emotions or actions like acceptance, compassion, kindness, and patience.
Three other excellent ways to de-stress are:
Cut down on screen time - especially before bed.
Carve out time for exercise.
Enjoy some meditation.
If you are considering doing a liver detox for spring, let me know. I can provide the necessary herbs, help support your health with acupuncture, and assist you in finding stress reduction methods that work for you. Contact AOM Health today to make an appointment.