Spring denotes birth. Birth is life. This is nature’s new year! Many cultures celebrate their new year in spring, and not just on January 1st.
One of the early signs of spring is when “life begins to sprout” above the ground on plants and trees, in the form of buds and leaves. Bitter roots (rhizomes) such as turmeric, dandelion and burdock make their appearance. Through the season, we see an abundance of green sprouts, baby greens, berries and cherries. Our Pacific NW region offers us plenty more fresh spring choices such as arugula, chard, broccoli, cilantro, fennel, etc.
I find myself awestruck at how effortlessly Nature changes its colors, at the turn of every season. On that note, you may have observed that as seasons change, there are those of us who “Spring clean” almost everything on our outside, but rarely ever address our insides! If this were to shift, we could improve our health outcomes, immensely. How do we accomplish this? For a start, let us focus on making Nature’s freshly available bounty, a staple, this spring.
For instance, bitter roots help cleanse congested liver and remove mucous from our intestinal villi. The greens and sprouts inoculate our gut with seasonal and beneficial bacteria (microbes) that aid in digestion, energy production, and blood sugar regulation. The antioxidant-rich berries and cherries help flush out toxins from our lymph. Among other benefits, consuming a medley of such precious foods can help support an optimally functioning immune system that will in turn mitigate many common springtime infections and/ or allergies. Did you know that if animals such as cows and deer ate either out of season or consumed foods that are not their inherent staple, they could potentially die or get very sick and require medication to stabilize them? A good example is cows being fed grain instead of grass, their natural staple.
We modern day humans have access to an abundance of foods – local, imported, fresh, processed, and maybe more. With choices, comes responsibility (sometimes confusion too!). As a rule of thumb, it may serve us well to consider making fresh and mostly seasonal foods, a part of our daily diet with an occasional consumption of foods that are either out-of-season or minimally processed (without questionable ingredients or additives).
I am sharing this quote I noted in a chiropractor’s office that aptly sums up some of the other “ingredients” to add to (or reduce from) our springtime routine:
“Flu is not a season! It is an inability to adapt due to decreased sun exposure and water intake combined with increased sugar intake and stress.”
This new spring season, let us renew our vows with Mother Nature and hence honor our individual nature by gratefully receiving her gifts of food, water, sun, breeze, and silence.
- Dr. John Douillard of www.LifeSpa.com