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Sweet Spleen

Take a few minutes to learn about your sweet spleen! Feel free to download and listen on the go to learn more about this important organ.

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Try any of these recipes to support your spleen:
Moroccan Carrot Ribbons and Black Lentils
North Indian-Inspired Butter Chickpeas
Savoury Fennel Chickpea Muffins
Black Bean Chocolate + Cranberry Snack Cake
Star Anise Ginger-Pickled Carrots

Do you know where your spleen is? Can you name one thing it does? If you answered no to both of those questions, you’re definitely *not* alone!

Here is an internal organ that most people know absolutely nothing about (which is why I’m creating this series, so you can carry on with just a *touch* of understanding!). The spleen is located in the upper left side of your abdomen, tucked up above and behind the stomach and behind your left ribs. It’s about the size of your fist.

One of your spleen’s main jobs is to filter your blood, store it, and recycle old blood cells. It is also an important part of your immune system response, producing white blood cells called lymphocytes – the ones that fight infection – when it detects bacteria, viruses, or other germs.

According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, the spleen is primarily responsible for the digestion and distribution of food and nutrients. The qi energy and other extractives from the digestive process are used by the body to create wei qi energy; immunity, vitality, and warmth.

Nourish and support your spleen with complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, carrots, turnips, parsnips, and rutabaga, oats, lentils, chickpeas, mung beans, and black beans, and pungent ingredients like onion, leek, black pepper and ginger. Drink plenty of pure water during the day, and make sure that it is either room temperature, warm or hot. The spleen is sensitive to cold, raw foods and drinks, sugar and refined carbohydrates, and greasy / oily foods as they all increase dampness.

Symptoms of a sluggish spleen include poor digestion, gas, bloating, low appetite, weakness in the extremities, poor muscle development, easy bruising, and fatigue. Prevent and correct these imbalances by preparing and eating regular meals (3x a day) with joy and gratitude. Breakfast should be the largest meal of your day, and then slowly decrease your portion sizes as the day goes on.