As we move into spring an abundance of fresh greens and produce are more readily available. You may find yourself craving more salads, fresh veggies and fruit. These are foods that speak to the energy of the liver and this energy is very active in the spring.
The liver is responsible for filtering blood and removing toxins found in chemicals and pharmaceuticals and also removes bacteria and hormones our body does not need. The liver also creates and secretes bile to aid in breakdown of fats to aid in the release and absorption of fat soluble minerals and vitamins and also benefits the detoxification process.
Considering how much our livers do for us it is important that we feed our bodies well to reduce any extra burden. It's no secret that lifestyle choices contribute to our overall health. The liver is particularly susceptible to these choices due to the direct role it has detoxing the body and ensuring a smooth flow of energy. The liver not only moves energy, it moves blood as well which is particularly important for menstruating women.
Overeating, too much rich, processed or chemical laden foods can overwork the liver decreasing it's ability to perform it's multitude of tasks. Eastern nutrition focuses on the energetic nature of foods to promote and influence the health of each organ and offers prescriptions of food. Food really is medicine and has the power to heal or harm. Foods that are green and have a sour taste will influence liver energy. Sour flavours in particular help to move blood and remove stagnation which will aid in reducing issues such as tight muscles and tendons, headaches and even emotional blockages that can hold us back such as depression or anxiety.
Foods that benefit the liver include:
Foods to avoid;
Emotional stress has a profound affect on liver energy so how you eat is just as important as what you eat. Food should be eaten for its nourishment and enjoyment. Taking time to be comfortably seated and focusing on the task at hand by thoroughly chewing and savouring each bite not only helps the digestion process to feed our bodies, it feeds our souls as well. Eating should be avoided while working, reading, watching TV or during stressful events such as heated discussions as this may cause liver energy to become stuck.
Spring offers a chance to reconnect to the renewal of natures for those of us who have been indoors during a long, cold winter. Spending time outdoors provides another way to nourish liver energy. Take time to soak up the sunshine, breathe in the fresh air and maybe even head into a forest to be one with the wood element of liver.
Jeanette is a Registered Acupuncturist and Reiki Master at Trinity Registered Massage Therapy located at Huron Crossing and Sage Naturopathic Clinic in Kitchener.