Spring greenery

Now that winter's gone, a hearty diet is definitely no longer the thing. Spring is the time to concentrate on the liver, which you can do by embracing all things fresh and light.

What a hungry liver wants

The emphasis in spring is on light food, cooked quickly (sauteing is a good method). It's no longer the time for meaty stews or anything salty. Instead, you should be avoiding foods such as heavy meat, dairy and eggs, and making sure you don't eat too late in the evening.

It will come as no surprise to learn that what's good for your liver at this time of year is young fresh greens. It will benefit from any early root crops too, such as carrots and beets, which add a little natural sweetness to the diet. Young lettuce and fresh in-season asparagus will also make it happy. Keep meat consumption to a minimum, with only occasional red meat, and it goes without saying that organic is always best, for meat, veg and fruit alike.

An unhappy liver will make its presence felt, whether in unpredictable digestion, burping and heartburn, or in inflammation in the body, particularly the tendons. Changing the direction of your diet in this way in this season will help to nourish your liver and keep it on its best behaviour.

Here's a simple recipe for you to try.

Spring noodle soup (serves 4-5)

400g wholemeal noodles, cooked and drained

900ml good organic vegetable stock (preferably homemade)

1 carrot, cut into thin batons

4 spring onions, chopped

280g spring greens, finely cut

70g radish sprouts

a little sea salt to taste

Instructions

Heat the stock up and add the carrot, onion and a little sea salt.

Simmer for 10 minutes until the vegetables are verging on tender.

Add the spring greens and the radish sprouts and cook until bright-coloured.

Your liver will thank you!

(Recipe from Paul Pitchford's Healing with Whole Foods)

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