by Andrew Pacholyk MS.L.Ac ~
When eating along with the seasons, there are two elements that should be taken into account. The “nature” of the food and the “flavor” of the food. The nature of the food refers to the foods innate temperature ie: cold, hot, warm, cool or neutral. Eating a moderate amount of all flavors sweet, salty, pungent, bitter and sour can help to keep your body balanced and regulated.
Sour taste is attributed to the liver and gall bladder, therefore adding some sour foods in your diet during Spring can improve the liver’s function. Consider apple, apricot, grape, grapefruit, hawthorn fruits, kumquat, loquat, mandarin orange, mango, olive, peach, pineapple, plum, raspberry, small red or adzuki bean, strawberry, tangerine, tomato, vinegar.
To help tonify the liver, concentrate on eating chlorophyll rich foods such as spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, wheat brass, klamath blue green algae Other green foods that are beneficial are kale, parsley, and collard greens.
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial as it’s bitter/sour taste has a detoxifying afect on the liver. Also consider lemon, lime or grapefruit juice in place of vinegar. Other bitter foods that can be used for detoxification purposes include rye, romaine lettuce, asparagus, amaranth, and quinoa.
Consider eating these food for Spring:
1. Fruits and nuts: apples, dates, lychees, longans, walnuts, peanuts, chestnuts.
2. Cereals, grains, and legumes: brown rice, corn, millet, oatmeal, sorghum, soybeans, black gram, adzuki bean, red kidney bean, broad bean.
3. Meat, poultry and fish: chicken, turkey, shrimp, carp, eel, chicken eggs.
4. Vegetables, seaweeds, potatoes, onions, carrots, chives, scallions, radishes, daikon, broccoli, asparagus, lettuce, cooked spinach, coriander, cauliflower, garlic, leeks, eggplants, Chinese cabbage, yams, sweet potatoes, celery, common mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms.
5. Herbs, spices, condiments, oils such as perilla leaf, peppermint, dandelion, honeysuckle flower, basil, parsley, wolfberry (gou gi berries), fleece-flower root, licorice, astragalus, rhubarb, ginger, pepper, honey, sesame oil.