Just as we get the craving to start cleaning out cluttered closets and drawers come spring time, our bodies also crave some spring cleaning. As we (finally!) move away from winter and leave the cold weather behind, our bodies naturally begin to crave lighter, cleansing foods. Seasonal spring foods help us drop that winter weight, tonify our blood, and help the body detox after several months of the heavier foods we consumed during our winter hibernation. Following our bodies natural rhythms and eating with the seasons can help us stay in balance, both mentally and physically.

Greens, sprouts, and berries help purify our systems and get things moving again. Spring is a wet, muddy time of year, and our bodies can also get congested with allergies. Bitter greens and pungent, spicy foods (like chili peppers) will help clear out the mucus and dry things up. Start checking your local farmers market and keep an eye out for new spring greens and asparagus. Try having a couple cups of dandelion root tea to help your body detox.

And add in one of my favorite greens to your mix: Basil. This delicious, anti-inflammatory green is packed with vitamin A and a good dose of magnesium (both are great for heart health) and contains natural oils that help relieve rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel conditions. Make a simple pesto and use it to top fish, chicken or steamed veggies, place a dollop on a baked potato, drizzle a generous amount over whole wheat pasta or whole grains, use a spoonful on scrambled eggs, or mix it into your salad for a healthy dressing that will put a spring in your step!