More sunshine, longer days, and the beach season drawing nearer. All this makes many of us decide to introduce a few changes to our lifestyle and the daily diet. What should you eat to wake your body up from its winter sleep, have more energy, and not give in to the spring solstice?
We tend to care less about our diet in the winter, as it’s more difficult to come up with a daily diet and the choice of fruit and vegetables at the store is fairly limited. When it’s freezing outside, we have a greater appetite for fatty dishes, which are also hard to digest. When the first rays of spring sunshine appear, we often find that we’ve put on several extra pounds.
Time to cleanse your body?
Does this mean that we should start one of the popular cleansing diets or the currently popular detoxification? “The ‘miraculous’ diet plans posted all around the Internet or so-called mono diets are not the best solutions. They are usually poorly balanced and don’t meet the individual needs of the body, so you can be in for nutrient deficiency or disrupt your metabolism,” warns Monika Dąbrowska-Molenda, M.D., a dietician from the Medicover Hospital. “When it comes to body cleansing, it’s important to stress that our body takes care of it on its own. If you eat properly, you don’t need any other special diets or other treatments,” she adds. Everyone should bear in mind that the principles of healthy eating stay the same regardless of the season. Have five meals a day in regular intervals, limit the number of fatty dishes and amount of salt and processed food you consume, eat lean meat, whole grain products and vegetables, drink enough fluids, and be physically active. This will work better than any miraculous diet plan.
Early vegetables in moderation
Although you tend to long for local fruit and veg – for example fresh, colourful radishes, lettuce, and dill – don’t overdo it. “When the spring comes, be moderate about seasonal products that you add to your menu. Early vegetables are grown in greenhouses, often with an abundance of artificial fertilisers to accelerate their growth so they can be sold as soon as possible. A high concentration of such chemical compounds can cause ailments such us an upset stomach or can even be carcinogenic,” says Monika Dąbrowska-Molenda, M.D. When you do your shopping, it’s best to avoid fruit and veg that appear too perfect or that are unnaturally large – that’s a red flag. Remember to carefully wash early vegetables before you eat and avoid eating large quantities until the season is in full swing. Meanwhile, you can resort to high-quality refrigerated food.
Beauty and feeling good
We all know that March grass never does well and April weather is sunshower season – the changing weather is not good for your mood or well-being. The spring weather can motivate you to be active and introduce changes to your lifestyle, but it’s also treacherous. It’s this time of the year that many of us feel a bit under the weather, have skin problems, lose too much hair, and are more vulnerable to getting sick. This is where diet can also make a difference, especially as it should provide all the necessary nutrients you need and plenty of vitamins and microelements.
To not succumb to colds, eat products that give your body natural protection, for example citrus fruits rich in vitamins A, C, and E, red peppers, parsley, sour cabbage, and pickled cucumbers as well as garlic and onions, which have natural germicidal qualities. “Help your skin, hair, and nails by eating fatty fish, vegetable oils, legumes, nuts, and sunflower seeds, as well as wholemeal bread, oatmeal, and bran, an excellent source of silicon, calcium, and zinc,” adds Monika Dąbrowska-Molenda, M.D. What about that bad mood? To prevent it, it’s important to ensure your diet is balanced, but most importantly to be physically active. Even short walks in the first rays of the spring sunshine will be enough to lift your spirits.