Naturopathic Nutrition with Nadja Severa
It looks like Spring may have arrived. The external signs are showing - days are getting longer, warmer and the daffodils are out! The equinox on March 20th is the official start of Spring, when the sun crosses the equator and day equals night. An end to the long dark days and hibernation with a sense of excitement, new starts, optimism, hope and rebirth. A time to look forward and the perfect time to Spring Cleansing as the body is ready.
Around the equinox it is common to have an elimination such as a cold as the body fluids are beginning to thin after the Winter when they were thicker and the body will try to release and cleanse on all levels, mental, emotional and physical.
To support the body drink fresh organic vegetable juice to help detoxification and reduce acidity and drink plenty of water preferably distilled to release toxins and for hydration. Sprout seeds and grow your own greens like wheatgrass and alfalfa sprouts to give a higher level of nutrients to help raise energy levels to allow natural detoxification. The equinox day is a high energy day and suitable for a one day fast to allow the body to release toxins as the body is more acidic. Symptoms can occur such as itchy skin, aching joints and muscles, sore throat, cystitis, mouth ulcers, colds, flus and previous symptoms may return temporarily. Fasting should only be undertaken after a full health evaluation and under strict supervision. Support the liver with oils such as flaxseed/kill, herbs such as nettle, dandelion and supplements such as milk thistle and castor oil liver packing all only as prescribed.
In the Chinese system of the five elements the organs associated with Spring are the gall bladder and liver. The element is wood and the colour green of young plants. The Wood element in humans would refer to the spine, limbs and joints. Arthritis would be viewed as a Wood problem. A slow morning riser would be a sign of a sluggish liver. The gallbladder and liver are most active between 11p.m. and and 3a.m. and work more efficiently if you are asleep at this time.
Spring is the time that we start to change our diet from the heavier warmer winter one to a lighter and rawer one to match our body’s needs. This is easier to do when one eats what is in season and what is growing above the ground. Nature provides the green spring vegetables, new roots, dark leafy greens such as watercress and fresh herbs such as parsley ( 3 times more vitamin C than oranges) and mint. Avoid eating tropical fruits from the Southern Hemisphere and limit the amount of fruit to locally grown fruit at this time to avoid imbalances. Avoid fatty foods, alcohol, caffeine and avoid eating liver during the spring. A good daily tonic for the liver is the juice of half a fresh lime mixed with a tablespoon of water and a small pinch of salt.
As the days become longer take the opportunity to get outdoors and get more sunlight and exercise to get the energy flowing around the body.