Ten tips for a healthier Spring
As we step out of the darkness & heaviness of Winter there is such a great sense of lightness & hope in the air…. The transition into Spring can sometimes be tricky for our bodies! For many it’s associated with congestion & excessive amounts of mucous which may lead to conditions such as sinusitis, coughs, colds, asthma, hay fever, digestive problems, joint pain, etc. On a positive note, Spring is a great time for doing a detox, for losing weight, improving fitness & kickstarting your health. From the Ayurvedic perspective, Spring is all about reducing Kapha. (Kapha is heavy, sticky & sluggish)
Unshackle yourself from the heaviness of Winter & welcome Spring with some gusto by trying some of our Ayurvedic Spring tips….
- Embrace the tastes of Spring: As you may have heard before, in Ayurveda we balance each season by increasing certain tastes and reducing others. In Spring we need to increase Pungent, Bitter & Astringent. Make sure you choose good quality sources of these tastes. (e.g. Pungent: Spices such as Black pepper & Ginger; Bitter & Astringent: Spring greens, Dandelion & Nettle tea).
- Reduce foods that are heavy, sticky, sour, salty and sweet: Our bodies want rid of the heavy excesses of Winter. They no longer need the heavy roots, grains and oily foods that were so beneficial during Wintertime. They now need lighter more alkalising foods that aid the natural cleansing & detoxification process that takes place during Spring. Avoid or reduce the following: potatoes, pasta, fried foods, processed foods, bread, junk food, etc.
- Love your greens: Leafy Spring greens are bitter, astringent and sometimes also pungent. They are a great addition to your diet as they enhance the detoxification process during Spring. Examples: wild garlic, rocket, coriander, mustard greens, dandelion leaves, nettle leaves, chickweed, etc. Try to include them in your daily diet.
- Reduce dairy: Dairy products are heavy and sticky and increase mucous congestion. If you are having dairy make sure it’s only in small amounts, warm & well seasoned (spices you can add to dairy products: cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, etc).
- Include barley: Barley is one of the most suitable grains to eat during Spring. It has the ability to dry up excess mucous in the body, regulate blood sugars and cleanse the lymphatic system. You can add pearled barley to soups & stews or you can have rolled barley as porridge for breakfast (instead of oats).
- Get your body moving: Exercise is an absolute must during Spring! Physical movement is a great way to reduce excess Kapha. If you’re not used to exercising then start slowly and build up your level of fitness gradually.
- Get out there and soak up the bountiful nature: Spring is such a fantastic time to experience the renewal of nature – get out there and enjoy it. (If you’re feeling a little unmotivated join a local walking club/cycle club/tri club, etc. example The Boru Tri Club).
- Avoid afternoon naps! At this time of year you don’t want to slow your body’s metabolism down any more than it should. It’s the time of year you should be getting active not lazing around. Save those lazy afternoon naps for the hotter summer months
- Do a detox: This is one of the best times of year to do a detox! Do a simple home detox, join our detox retreats or have one tailor made for your needs.
- Clean your sinuses: Don’t wait until you get sinusitis…. Spring is the best time of year to clear out your sinuses, especially if you suffer from any related health problems (hay fever, rhinitis, sinusitis, headaches, etc). Cleaning the sinus cavities also helps with motivation and concentration. There are specific Ayurvedic cleanses designed to achieve this, example Nasya and Jala Neti.
Doug Hyde Ayurveda teacher & practitioner
About the author – Doug Hyde
Doug is an Ayurvedic practitioner, therapist & teacher and the co-owner of Satmya. He was first introduced to Ayurveda in 1998 and has pursued his passion for this ancient science ever since. Read more here