Monday, February 25, 2013

Oh, What an Eye-Opener

With the spring season just around the bend, I always feel inspired to do some body ‘spring cleaning.’  This time I wanted to focus on my eyes since I often have blurred vision due to upper respiratory congestion.  I was wondering which internal organ correlates to the eyes? 


In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) liver blood deficiency can cause problems such as blurry vision and other vision problems, short-sightedness (myopia), dry eyes or floaters in the eyes. Excess liver heat can cause painful, burning and bloodshot eyes.  TCM has a clear description of emotional connections when the liver is imbalanced.  Anger, frustration and resentment have a correlation to the health of the liver.  


“The liver opens into the eyes. When the liver is harmonized, the eyes can distinguish the five colors.”
~ Chinese wisdom


According to Western medicine it is the function of the liver to act as the body’s filter.  It cleans toxins, breaks down fats, converts glucose (sugar) to glycogen, metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals, and produces cholesterol; in other words it is one important organ.

Therefore, I decided to help out my liver and give it some extra attention.  I could buy pills or cleansing kits, but something told me that food would be the better liver support.

Since I love fresh vegetable juices, I decided to buy some apples, beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, ginger root, kale, parsley, and pears (best are organic fruits and vegetables).   I don’t have a specific recipe but to make two glasses of fresh juice you need quite a bit.  You always want to give one glass to your honey, since he probably would not go through the trouble of cleaning the produce and juicing it.


Health Benefits of Beets

I learned that beets are particularly beneficial for liver support.  Beets contain many B vitamins, including folate, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, and fiber.  Beet juice is also favorable because it allows the betaine to stay intact.  It is the betaine which gives the liver the power to get rid of the toxins and acts as a bile thinner.


Beet juice

Fresh beet juice can be highly beneficial, as it allows the betaine to stay intact. Betaine is the substance that encourages the liver cells to get rid of toxins. Additionally, betaine acts to defend the liver and bile ducts, which are important if the liver is to function properly. This particular substance is also said by some to decrease the risk of coronary and cerebral artery diseases, as it lowers inflammation in the body, allowing the many systems to work without interruption.  Jay Kordich, the juice man, suggests to start with 2-4 ounces of beet juice and then increase slowly over a few weeks.  Always mix your beet juice with other vegetables, since it has very strong taste.

Cooked Beets

Just in time to support my research on beets, I received Dr. Ben Kim’s newsletter.  He describes how we can use cooked beets for our health.


Pickled Beets

Once you have cooked the beets, removing the skin is very easy.  Cut the bulb into bite-size pieces.  Add some chopped onions, olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper to taste; store in the refrigerator in a covered glass.  Yum…. 

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