Pungent spices are especially helpful in early spring to dry up the kapha water, specifically in the lungs.Increase light grains like quinoa, millet, rice, barley, and corn; reduce heavy wheat.
Legumes such as red lentils, chickpeas and aduki beans are light and astringent, making them a helpful addition this time of year.
Drink warm water throughout the day, and include pungent/bitter cleansing herbal tea such as dandelion, chicory, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, orange peel or hibiscus.
Steamed veggies, simple soups, and all things easy-to-digest are what is called for.
After the first stage of clearing water, mucous and kapha, move onto cleansing the liver of hot and fatty pitta accumulations by using bitter herbs (Pole 2013). Take advantage of the abundance of yellow dandelions that appear at this time. It’s believed that the colour yellow and the liver are connected, and dandelion is a well-known liver cleanser. So, don’t mow the dandelions down...eat them up!
The other yellow that you want to take advantage of in spring is Turmeric. It has the unusual quality of being a warming bitter (bitters are generally cooling in nature) which makes it invaluable in both moving stagnation and clearing the liver.
Many vegetables are light, bitter, and astringent and provide a great way to facilitate the body in clearing moisture, moving stagnation, and cleansing the liver...kale, asparagus, artichokes, brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
Of all the sweeteners, honey is by far the superior choice in the spring-time. It’s heating and ‘scraping’ qualities make it perfect for this time of year. Ayurveda traditionally cautions against cooking with it, however it’s fine to stir it in after the heat has been turned off and the food/drink has cooled slightly.
On dairy and meat, these foods are generally more building than cleansing (with the exception of pungent goats’ milk) and are best saved for the other seasons. In spring, think cleansing.