Support Your Best Health in Spring

Dr. Meggie Smith

By visiting author:  Yoli Joseph

Spring’s weather changes can feel like a relief after a biting cold winter or one with lots of snow and wind.  Even 50 degrees feels so warm that we may even go outside in a t-shirt!  According to Ayurveda this early Spring season is dominated by Kapha, or cold, damp, heavy, mucus, inertia/inactivity attributes.  The seat of Kapha is in the lungs so when Kapha is in excess lungs and sinuses (respiratory system) love to accumulate mucus.  Colds are abound as a result.

We can support our best health in Spring time by not shedding all the warm layers but making sure the chest and throat regions will stay warm and we can make food adjustments the decrease the effects of Kapha. Beware that dairy increases mucus!  Other things that increase Kapha include: dairy, sweet tastes, soy (soy milk, tofu, etc), peanut butter and bananas.  Bitter tasting foods reduce Kapha Dosha’s effects. Things like: dark leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, turnip greens), bitter gourd, dandelion greens, turmeric, fennel, fenugreek, and basil.

Drinking dandelion tea is another way to get in your good bitters.  You can find bags of already cut and washed bitter gourd (kerela) at Patel Brothers on Devon.  It packs a bitter punch, and will aid in the detoxing of your body and boosting the digestive power which has a direct relationship to your immunity.  Here my favorite dandelion greens recipe of the moment:

Dandelion Greens with Currants and Pine Nuts

•     About 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
•     1 garlic clove, finely chopped
•     1 lb. dandelion greens, ends trimmed, roughly chopped (about 2½ qts.)
•     1/8 tsp. each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
•     3 tbsp. each dried currants and toasted pine nuts
•     Lemon wedges (optional)

1. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds.
2. Add dandelion greens in batches, turning frequently with tongs. Increase heat to medium-high, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and continue to cook, turning with tongs, until greens are wilted and tender-crisp, about 5 minutes.
3. Add currants and pine nuts and cook 1 minute more. Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with about 1 tbsp. more oil. Serve with a squeeze of lemon if you like.

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