Spring is naturally a time of new beginning, regrowth and detox. In our homes we do a spring clean and a purge of all the “old stuff” we no longer require.
Your body does the same.
Whenever I hear of spring detox for the body, I always consider the liver – the powerhouse organ in your body. The liver is in charge of many functions including: metabolizing carbohydrates, fats, and protein, storing vitamins such as A, D, and B12, and detoxifying excess hormones and toxins in your body.
How to best support your liver.
1) Diet and food preparation
Food is so important – it lays the foundation for how our body feels and functions.
A simple way to support your liver begins with diet. I always encourage my patients to eat for the seasons. Spring is a time of renewal so think of foods that are sprouted and small, such as baby spinach, kale and carrots. Avoid eating a completely raw food diet and icy cold beverages. Try lightly cooking foods for a shorter amount of time by steaming, sautéing and stir frying your meals. Fennel, basil, rosemary and dill are powerful herbs that you can incorporate into your daily cooking.
2) Herbs for detox
My favourite herb for liver support is stinging nettle. Not only is it a detoxifying herb ideal for spring cleansing, it also acts as a diuretic, detoxifier, and anti-inflammatory and mild hypo-glycemic herb, and exhibits strong anti-allergy effects. Stinging nettle is a perfect choice for when those spring allergies show up.
The herb supports nutrition, detoxification and anti-allergy effects through acids, amines, and flavonoids and an array of nutrients including Vitamin A, B2, B5, C, potassium, calcium and silicon.
This beautiful herb grows in our climate so forage for our own, or pick some up from your green grocer. Stinging nettle can be mixed into salad greens or drank as a hot or cold tea as a nutritious alternative that is both satisfying to the palate and to the detox pathways.
3) Clean food choices
One last tip I like give to my patients who are trying to make the switch to a more organic and thoughtful diet is the dirty dozen and clean fifteen food guide you can access below. These lists give the 12 most pesticide heavy foods you should always aim to buy organic and the fifteen cleanest foods that have little pesticide exposure when not organic. These lists are updated each year with the new crops popping up and help keep consumers up to date on the food industry. Remember, making clean food choices allows the body to adapt and cope with the stressors of modern life easier!
— Dr. Kaylee Driedger, ND
To book an appointment with Dr. Kayleen Driedger, ND visit our website at theiv.ca or give us a call at 604-652-2728.