Along with the influx of sunlight and plant power, spring requires resources from the human body to adapt to the increased dynamics of life. In the modern society exactly this resource is often not available and then we witness the so-called "spring fever". But nature itself again gives natural medicine in the form of fresh food - both cultivated and wild. Let's look at a few such "masterpieces" ...
1. Nettle. Particularly rich in protein ingredients, antioxidants, carotene and different minerals (potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). Raises the overall tone and immunity of the body, heals anemic people and those with joint problems, stimulates milk secretion in breastfeeding. It can also be eaten raw in small quantities, carefully frayed or ground, along with other vegetables and oil nuts; its cooking also admits combination with seasonal foods, grains and beans. Now is a good time to stockpile up with seedlings, making them dry and then for a whole year to add them to spices, soups and porridge!
2. Dandelion. Its flowers are delicious and very useful – they contain amino acids, vitamins, minerals and the valuable "phytochemical" lutein, which protects the cardiovascular system, blood cells and eyes from damage. In this season dandelions can replace the floral pollen if you eat a dozen per day. Can be added to salad or other dish. The leaves are more bitter, but they go well with plenty of other spring vegetables. The leaves of the dandelion tend to purify the liver and gall bladder, improve metabolism, including during obesity and diabetes. And last but not least, they are a source of bioelements such as calcium, magnesium and zinc being , which are involved in many important processes in the body, including nerve processes, blood circulation and development of bones, joints and teeth.
3. Lettuce. It contains less vitamins, micronutrients and antioxidants than most of its wild "competitors", but this is offset by the large quantities we can consume of it. Also we can not help but mention its superior taste, which is very good basis of most spring salads. Lettuce refreshes and soothes at the same time (even Avicenna recommended it for insomnia) helps bile secretion, the function of red platelets (thrombocytes), thanks to the content of vitamin K and also improves vision. If you can not tolerate its relatively coarse cellulose, consume it under the form of juice with other vegetables such as carrots and beetroot.
4. Arugula. Undeservedly overlooked, but increasingly popular, this "princess" of transitional seasons is irreplaceable, slightly spicy addition to salads. Arugula can be added to other dishes, but it is not desirable to boil it, because then its beneficial properties are greatly reduced. Like other products of brassica family, but stronger than them, it protects the body from poisons - whether passed from the outside or generated by the body (e.g., degradation products of estrogens, which are associated with tumor predispositions). This happens due to the so-called glucosinolates, which also lower thyroid function, which is very useful for those suffering from hyperthyroidism or other similar condition but should be considered as a limitation of quantities in the case of problems with decreased secretion of thyroid hormones.
5. Parsley. Simultaneously food, spice and medicine! Use the leaves for fresh consumption and handles as well as roots for soups. Parsley has the ability to cleanse the kidneys and urinary tract (especially in combination with dill), tones the nervous and immune systems and improves vision. However, do not overdose with it - not recommended more than 50-60 grams of raw parsley (for example a double handful) for a meal. For pregnant or lactating women that amount should be reduced dramatically!
6. Cherries. One of the earliest wholesome fruits; especially if they are high quality, they help to purify the liver and excretory pathways for drainage in swelling and weight gain, to protect the blood vessels and eyes (especially those sorts with a darker color). It is best to consume on an empty stomach or at least 20 minutes before other meals. Eating them for dessert, especially if combined with concentrated sugars can cause fermentative digestive disorders.
7. Sprouts. Not only the soil is now "eager" for them, but they are also very useful at this (relatively poor in terms of ingredients) season to humans! Use the seeds of einkorn, sunflower, broccoli, lentils and other available, preferably organically grown. In the process of germination enzymes are synthesizes, many times the essential vitamins and minerals are increased and amino acids become more easily digestible. It is therefore beneficial at least once a day to have at your table, for example, 2 tablespoons of them. Beneficial are seedlings that follow the process of germination. They actually represent young green plants, received including from grains (available in ready powder or concentrated juices). And combination of various domesticated and wild green foods with sprouts is an extremely valuable favor that you can do to yourself and your loved ones during this wonderful season!
Author: Dr. Dimitar Pashkulev