A healthy body goes through a daily process of cleansing as well as rebuilding. And interestingly enough, if we look at the foods that we harvest in the autumn months, we find a balance between these two aspects (cleansing and rebuilding). We have veggies and fruits ready this time of year that are amazing detoxifiers, as well as those that provide wonderful nourishment and that are cancer-preventative.
So, by using the foods we naturally find available to us in the autumn months, we can take part in a cleanse that will be optimally supportive of the body.
My nutrition training spans Eastern-Western philosophies and traditions. I enjoy drawing on wisdom found in other medical approaches that can often offer very appropriate answers to questions we may not readily be able to address using just the Western model of health and disease.
Why do we get more colds and sinus infections this time of year?
And why have I seen so many new clients recently who’ve been complaining of irritable bowel issues?
A look at Chinese medicine may offer an answer to these questions.
In Chinese medicine, different seasons have different organs that come into particular focus. Autumn is the time of the lungs and the large intestine. The lungs and large intestine are in charge of respiration, digestion, and elimination. This time of year, we will likely be prone to disease in these areas (colds, bronchitis, sinus infections, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, etc.) and need to choose carefully the specific foods that will help to nourish these organs.
What are some of these foods? Look around you at the farmers market, or your local health food store. What do you find?
Apples have a substance called pectin in them, which naturally helps to nourish and cleanse the mucous membranes in the digestive tract – thus supporting the large intestine.
Have you ever noticed that a leaf of curly kale looks like a lung? Kale is very cleansing and detoxifying, particularly for the circulatory system. In fact, all the leafy green veggies, which produce in abundance in the cooler autumn months, are blood cleansing and nourish all the main organs of detoxification, including the lungs, liver, gall bladder and kidneys. In addition they provide nourishment for the good bacteria (probiotics) in our intestines, so provide specific support of the large intestine, as well.
How about pumpkins and winter squash, which are so abundant this time of year? These foods are naturally rich in a type of carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin, which promotes good lung health and may be protective against lung cancer. Beta-carotene, another type of carotenoid found in winter squash and pumpkins, can help reduce incidence of colon cancer.
If you’d like to try a cleanse this fall, one focused on foods that help to nourish two of our main elimination systems – our lungs and our large intestine – I’ve created a cleanse that does just that. A seasonally appropriate cleanse that will not only provide the benefits of other cleanses, such as:
- weight loss
- elimination of cravings
- improved digestive health
- clarity of thinking
- reduction in symptoms of PMS and menopause
BUT, will also be optimally nourishing to those parts of the body that need it most this time of year!