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Eat to be lighter: 9 foods to add to your diet this month

The seasons and your body are constantly changing and evolving Ayurveda teach us. Man is just an expression of nature – a microcosm of the macrocosm. So we are constantly moving forward with the seasons.

Spring is here, the birds are loud and every day is filled with the vibrancy of new life sprouting up everywhere. We can do the same for our bodies. Warmer weather invites us to shed some layers and lighten up a bit. The earth provides us with the means to do this: plenty of sunshine, warmer days, and food that helps cleanse our systems and reduce our stress.

Pay attention to the foods your body is craving right now. As the thermometer rises, we may feel naturally drawn to more smoothies, salads, and light veggies as opposed to stews, heavy soups, and rich sauces. When you go to the grocery store, first look at the products. What seems particularly alive right now? Seasonal Food Guide is an easy way to see what foods are currently plentiful and in season in your area.

in the Ayurveda, we pay more attention to specific “flavors” of foods to support optimal health than to the macronutrients of foods. As the weather gets warmer and the light stays in the sky longer, we turn away from oily, heavy, sour, and sweet foods—flavors that ground us and keep us warm—to hot, bitter, astringent, dry, and lemony—flavors , which help clean up the system and add a little more spring to our step. You’ll find that Ayurveda is actually quite intuitive as your body will likely naturally crave more of these foods.

9 foods to incorporate into your diet to help you feel lighter

1. Arugula

One of my favorite greens, it’s easy to tell this green apart from others by its bitter, peppery, and astringent flavor. Arugula makes a great base for any salad, packed with calcium and vitamin K, both of which contribute to normal blood clotting.

2. Artichokes

Artichokes are rich in fiber, folic acid and vitamin C and are easy to prepare. Simply steam for about 20-30 minutes and start peeling off the leaves to reach the heart.

3. Asparagus

This is a vegetable that you will see popping up everywhere now, and with good reason. Asparagus is high in fiber and vitamin K. Frying with a little olive oil and a little salt and pepper is the easiest way to prepare asparagus.

4. Strawberries

Yes, the perfect strawberry can be deliciously sweet, but it’s also light and an excellent source of antioxidants. A great option for a light breakfast or sweet treat.

5. Cruciferous vegetables

These healthy vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are rich in folic acid and phytonutrients. Easily steam or fry without excess sauces or oils.

6. Radishes

The bitter and peppery flavor of radishes, like arugula, makes them a springtime favorite. They can help detoxify the stomach and liver and are a natural diuretic that helps cleanse the system.

7. Beets

All you have to do is take a look at the DailyGoodTips’s rich red color to understand its power to support blood and circulation. They’re also a great detoxifier and taste delicious roasted in salads.

8. Green onions

This time of year, leeks and ramps are the favorite ingredients of chefs who rely on local produce to create seasonal menus. Like their brothers and sisters garlic and onion, they have strong bitter and astringent properties.

9. Certain spices

These can be used to aid in the body’s cleansing process. Turmeric, ginger, black pepper, asafoetida (similar to garlic), cayenne pepper and mustard seed all help rid the body of extra mucus and toxins (known as ama in Ayurveda) that can build up at this time of year. They also aid in digestion. Consider adding these to some sautéed veggies, making a homemade salad dressing with some of the ingredients, or experimenting with a spice mix that includes all of these ingredients and sprinkles on some roasted veggies.

In addition, intermittent fasting is a great way to support internal cleansing process of the body and prevents diseases. It is recommended to have one meal a day in the afternoon, perhaps with a light breakfast such as fruit and an easily digestible meal in the evening such as green soup or simply broth. Try to recognize when the body is full and resist overeating.

All of these tips will help you start spring and summer full of energy and vitality, just like Mother Nature. For light, summery dishes visit our recipe tab on The Beet.

Eliana Brown is a writer/reporter at Dailygoodtips.com's interesting news department in Los Angeles. She publishes daily updates on celebrity news, human interest pieces, and packaged visual galleries. Before joining the HollywoodLife team, Erin…

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