Spring Cleanse

Top -veggies

Hey, everyone! I was thinking I would do a follow-up to last week's blog about diet and cleansing.

In TCM, there are many foods you can eat throughout the year to support your body and each organ system in its season. In TCM, every food has a particular nature or "flavor" associated with it, such as plum = sour, and carrots = sweet, and so on. They may also have a temperature associated with them such as warm, hot, cool, or cold. In each season, an individual would want to eat foods that would support or nourish the organ system of the season.

For example, Summer belongs to the Heart and the Heart's flavor is bitter. It would greatly benefit an individual to eat more bitter foods. Eating light meals and "very little to no" cold foods would be best. Since Summer is such a yang part of the year when everything is in blooming and in motion, we don't want to hamper our systems with cold food that would "put the fire out."  

Many of the patients in clinic ask what they should eat. I try to inform them that in TCM we believe one should not eat cold, raw foods, dairy, or too much spicy food, and to minimize alcohol consumption to one glass of red wine a day and remove coffee from the diet. If you think of your digestive system as a pot of boiling water just think what will happen when you consume cold foods; it's going to steam and eventually could kill the digestive "fire." This can lead to many bowel problems such as IBS, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and even constipation. It really makes sense when you think of it like that. The other foods I have listed may cause damp or heat and these can cause imbalance in the body as well.

Elizabeth -flowers _veggies

TCM, along with all the other natural health programs here at National, believe the body should be balanced. If the body is not in balance, a person is going to feel sick or have other symptoms that disrupt their daily life. Fatigues, allergies, gastrointestinal problems, headaches, can all be symptoms of a body out of balance. One way to help your body ease back into balance is with a cleanse.

By cleansing, one is "giving their body a break." With a whole body detox, the major organ systems being cleansed are liver, GI tract, gall bladder, kidney, bladder, lungs, skin, and lymph - and even the mind. There are many detoxes out there, but it is best to discuss which one is best for you with a doctor. Also, once you start a cleanse, you should always follow through with the whole program. The Liver goes through two phases in detoxification. During Phase 1, enzymes called cytochrome 450 help detox many substances such as caffeine, alcohol, or environmental toxins. The enzymes cause a reaction in the liver that makes these substances more water-soluble. In Phase 2, the substances from Phase 1 are acted upon by more liver enzymes, which convert them into water-soluble compounds that can be easily eliminated through the urine, stool or sweat. If one does not follow through with the full program, the toxins may not be flushed out of the body and cause more damage.

One must also include many vitamins and antioxidants, as well as plenty of water, in the diet to support the body's functioning. Including light exercise or meditation helps the body become more efficient at eliminating toxins, and sweating always adds to the removal whether it be from exercising or a sauna. 

Eat to good health!

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