Spring cleaning is on our mind as we enter a new season. While we often associate spring cleaning with cleaning our home and personal space(s), it’s important to remember that we also need to clean our gut! We asked clinical herbalist and holistic nutritionist, Anna Marie Beauchemin for some tips on where to start with a refrigerator and pantry refresh to help us maintain a happy gut!
Spring is on the horizon, and with it comes the season of clearing. Every year when the dark of winter begins to fade and the bright green energy of spring creeps in, it’s my signal to clean out the dormancy of winter and invite in the fresh energy that the new season holds. From decluttering the house, to tending to the garden, and switching up the foods and herbs that I cook with - spring is all about livening things up.
Spring Cleaning + Digestive Health
As an herbalist and a nutritionist, one of the first places I tackle is my grocery list. While my winter menu may feature heavier, heartier dishes that reflect the season, my spring menu reflects the fresh green produce available at the market. I focus on incorporating an abundance of broths and digestive system supportive foods to help nourish and clear this system after a heavy winter. To learn more about my favorite fresh and springy foods for digestive and seasonal support, see below:
Leafy Greens: Tender and nutrient dense, spring is the ideal growing season for many of your favorite greens. From kale and swiss chard, to bok choy and baby lettuce - whatever looks good at the market is what I go home with that week. A great source of insoluble fiber, greens can play an important role in the healthy detoxification of our digestive systems. Insoluble (and soluble) fiber help keep things moving smoothly so that we can properly discard our waste, helping us to feel our best.
Bone Broth: One of my favorite healing foods for the digestive system, bone broths are rich in nutrients and the amino acids needed for digestive health. A light yet mighty liquid, broths are also a great way to help our body’s transition into the lighter foods of spring and summer. Broths can be infused with seasonal herbs (such as burdock, nettle, dandelion leaf, and mushrooms) to help support our digestive health even more.
Bitter Herbs: An essential part of any herbal digestive plan, bitter herbs can help to stimulate our digestive juices and are commonly used as liver tonics in herbalism. Being the season of the liver in TCM, this bright green season is a perfect time to incorporate more bitter herbs and foods into your diet, helping to support overall digestive and liver health.
Seasonal Botanicals: Whenever I can I try to eat herbs and foods that are in season, and in spring this means mushrooms, leafy bitter greens like dandelion, and lush nutrient dense botanicals like nettle. Mushrooms are a great support to the immune system (which can be helpful in season transitions), while bitter herbs (like dandelion) can help support digestive health.
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Note: The information in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please make sure to consult with a licensed physician before adding herbal or dietary supplements into your life, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, or on medication.