Paul Pitchford, writing in the classic, Healing with Whole Foods: Oriental Traditions and Modern Nutrition, writes about suitable foods and their preparation for this time of year -- spring. He writes:
This is the season to attend to the liver and gallbladder. In spring we naturally eat less, or even fast, to cleanse the body of the fats and heavy foods of winter. The diet should be the lightest of the year and contain foods which emphasize the yang, ascending, and expansive qualities of spring -- young plants, fresh greens, sprouts, and immature wheat or other cereal grasses. Salty foods such as soy sauce, miso and sodium-rich meats all have a strong component of sinking energy and are best limited during springtime. Too many heavy foods clog the liver, resulting in spring fits and fevers.
The expansive, rising quality of sweet and pungent-flavored foods is recommended by the classics as a means of creating a personal spring within. For this effect, one can use a little concentrated sweetener with pungent herbs, such as honey/mint tea. The pungent cooking herbs -- basil, fennel, marjoram, rosemary, carraway, dill, bay leaf -- are desirable at this time. Most of the complex carbohydrates such as grains, legumes and seeds have a primarily sweet flavor which increases with sprouting. Young beets, carrots, and other sweet starchy vegetables, thinned from the spring garden, provide a refreshing sweet flavor. Certain intensely pungent flavors are traditionally employed in the spring by Western folk healers as medicine: a week-long daily dose of raw onions and garlic acts as a vermifuge to rid the body of parasites. A traditional Japanese parasiticide is the sweet-pungent combination of mochi and mugwort -- pounded sweet rice with mugwort.