Spring is all about ‘new life’.  The Chinese relate health to the seasons which flow from one to another in cycles of energy or ‘chi’.  Spring is associated with wood element and the liver.  The liver is a vital organ and weighs about 3lbs. Its main function is to detoxify bodies from potentially harmful environmental chemicals and internal toxins produced during normal metabolism.  It also produced bile for fat digestion, plays an important role in blood sugar balance and contains immune cells as well as being a nutrient storage vessel. It is considered that stressed or unbalanced liver energy results in emotional issues such as depression of the spirit and inability to express anger or persistent frustration.

Physical ailments include stress, stiffness and inflexibility in the joints or spine, shoulder and neck tension, constipation, piles, intestinal gas and bloating, eye problems, weak and rigid nails, vertigo PMS and swelling such as boils and headaches.

Nutritional Approaches To Supporting The Liver

Eat natural unprocessed whole foods.  Try to use raw foods, or grill, steam or stir-fry foods.

Eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in antioxidants.  Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussel sprouts, onions, garlic artichokes, radishes, carrots, sweet potatoes, beetroot, asparagus and celery are beneficial to the liver.

Choosing ‘organic’ foods avoids toxins from chemical sprays and drug residues.

Drinking hot water with half an unwaxed squeezed lemon on waking and before meals. It is a digestive stimulant and decongestant.

Use a tablespoon of flaxseed oil as a salad dressing or add linseeds to salads and cereals, this will provide Omega 3 into your daily diet.

To increase fibre and encourage detoxification consume at least 1 large serving of millet, brown rice or oat porridge daily. Sprouted seeds, beans, lentils and peas are also good so eat these at least three times per week.

Bio live yoghurt contains bacteria which create healthy bowel conditions and helps to reduce liver toxicity. Increase yoghurt intake or take a good quality pro-biotic.

Meat and daily foods including milk and cheese are a heavy digestive burden so reduce to a minimum.

Have two servings of organic or wild fish per week and at least three vegan days per week.

Caffeine and alcohol over stimulate the liver – reduce and experiment with green or herbal teas – try dandelion, ginger, parsley, fennel rooibos or chamomile.

Drink at least 2 litres of filtered water daily.

Good quality supplements can also be beneficial. Milk thistle, choline, and inositol which help to form lecithin and B complex are important for liver health.