The spleen is an organ that used to be considered useless, but in recent years, we’ve understood that it plays a big role in supporting the immune system. It acts as a filter for blood and recycles old red blood cells and stores platelets and white blood cells. It also helps fight bacteria that cause pneumonia and meningitis.
When the spleen isn’t working, conditions develop that can be debilitating. One such condition, called Beta Thalassemia is caused by an enlarged spleen. XpertDox provides more information about this condition. You can help keep your spleen in great working order by eating these three foods.
While genetics play a role in whether or not you’ll get this condition, keeping your spleen working smoothly is a good way to boost your chances of not developing them at all.
Start a fire inside
Keeping your spleen operating in peak condition means starting a fire in your gut. If you add spices like cardamom and ginger to your meals and foods, you’ll be helping your spleen digest and process the food better.
You could consider eating onions, fennel and garlic as well. These foods are great for adding fire to your digestion. A lot of issues involving spleen health are related to raw and cold foods. Cold foods tend to put the fire in our guts on a low burner and the spleen doesn’t work as well because it has to work harder to ‘warm up’ our meal and it takes longer for us to absorb the nutrients. That, in turn, can lead to another condition called leaky gut.
Including spicy and warm food will make it easier for your spleen to work on filtering out the toxin in our blood. So, consider eating spicy curry soup or a warm Italian stew. This is a great recipe for Thai Curried Pumpkin Soup that combines the warmth of spice and root vegetables.
It’s easy to create these warm recipes in the winter, but also consider using spicy recipes for fish in the summer, like this Spicy Skillet Fish recipe.
Squash it out!
Foods rich in carbohydrates, the good kind, are also good for your spleen health. They add color to your diet and are seasonal treats. Foods like cooked winter squash and sweet potatoes can add a good healthy side dish to your meal plus increase your fiber intake. They are crucial to a good digestive system and will also help regulate your blood sugar.
Avoid uncooked or raw cold root vegetables, however. If you’re going to have carrots, consider steaming them and adding some onion powder and pepper to taste. It may seem like the sweetness of a carrot would be killed by the savory spices, but the opposite actually happens when you use it judiciously. Parsnips are also a great root vegetable that will help promote spleen health. Roasted parsnips and carrots are delicious and are a colorful side that will go with chicken or fish.
A word of caution, however. Don’t combine too many carbohydrates and forget to utilize the other food groups for your spleen health. While squash and root vegetables are an important food addition, don’t make them the whole meal.
The Beans have it
Legumes are another way to improve your spleen health and continue to enjoy the benefits a healthy spleen. Black beans and garbanzo beans are good alternatives to the regular navy bean, but any cooked bean will be a good addition to your spleen health diet.
Legumes provide fiber and important nutrients that are essential to your body and your spleen. Especially because your spleen works directly with your digestive system. So adding legumes into your diet will help you create and maintain overall health and spleen health.
Recipes like Mediterranean Garbanzo Bean Soup combine all the above foods into one easy to make meal that can be eaten during the colder or warmer months. And don’t think that salads have to be cold, either. Here is a recipe for Easy Warm Chickpea salad that will make your taste buds sing. If you’re looking for a summer spicy recipe, then this Garlicky Black Bean and Summer Squash Tacos recipe will make your mouth water.
The key to a happy spleen is to incorporate foods that are warm, spicy, and high fiber. You also want to make them easily digestible so that your guts can concentrate on absorbing the nutrition rather than ‘fixing’ the food before it’s absorbed.
If you want to avoid debilitating conditions of your spleen like Beta Thalassemia, the you will want to include these foods into your regular diet. Your spleen plays an important role in your overall health by filter your blood. It cleans the old red blood cells out and stores the white blood cells. These foods will help you keep your spleen healthy and functioning properly.