Spring Cleansing Foods

Contributor: Ashley Neese
Photographer: Ashley Neese
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The Spring season has arrived and it’s time to start cleaning! My view of cleaning is holistic, so while I’m going to focus on food today, know that it’s important to consider cleaning up all areas of our life.

With warmer upon us our bodies are ready to gently detoxify. One of the easiest (and most affordable) ways to do this is by consuming seasonal herbs and green vegetables. If you want to go on a juice fast or deep cleanse please do. For everyday wellness and aligning our bodies with the season, incorporate as many of the foods below as you can and you will be off to a great start.

Below I’ve listed 4 spring herbs and 4 spring vegetables.  Each one is a detox powerhouse and they can be eaten a variety of ways, raw, cooked, or made into a tea.


Cilantro is an amazing heavy metal detoxifier and supports digestive function. Add a handful to your next juice for a fresh taste and detox boost.

Dandelion. These bitter weeds are a digestive tonic that have been used for centuries as medicinal herbs. Dandelion consumption can improve the liver’s detoxification capabilities. Toss these bitters in your next salad or make tea with the roots and leaves.

Nettles, many of us know them as Stinging Nettles, are one my favorite wild spring weeds. They are a blood builder, mild diuretic, and gently cleanse the body of metabolic waste material. Try my nettle tea for allergy relief and blood support.

Parsley is a kidney cleansing herb that is known as a nerve stimulant. Parsley is excellent in juices and makes a delicious pesto.

Artichokes protect the liver which is one of the main organs we need to be focused on this season. Their high fiber content helps to scrub out our intestinal wall which improves digestion. Steaming and juicing are great ways to prepare these vegetables and soak in their nutrients.

Arugula is a peppery green is loaded with vitamins A and C. It’s warming qualities aid digestion and like other members of the cruciferous family it has many anticancer compounds. Arugula has a fun nickname, “salad rocket” because it’s lively flavor takes a boring salad to the next level taste and nutrition wise.

Asparagus is a member of the lily family and is a great diuretic.  Very few vegetables contain inulin which the friendly bacteria in our digestive tract like to eat. Asparagus also balances insulin levels – amazing how healthy these green spears are! Eat asparagus raw in a soup or shave it for a yummy salad. 

Watercress is closely related to cabbage and mustard greens. It has been used for ages as a blood cleanser. This incredible green has more calcium than milk and more iron than spinach. Enjoy this green in salads, be sure to wash well as it’s grown in water and needs extra cleaning.