A guide to eating well with the season

We made it through the dreary days of winter and spring is here! The days are getting longer, people seem to be happier, and Mother Nature is starting to bloom in all her glory. We’re starting to shed sweaters, and invariably, many of us start thinking about shedding any extra insulation we’ve accumulated over the cooler months!

The transition into spring marks a season when things come alive and experience renewal. In nature, this is seen in the abundant growth of leaves, flowers, and vibrant produce. For our bodies, it means reducing our consumption of hearty, grounding, comfort foods and embracing all things light, fresh and energizing. Spring is a time of year when you likely notice that your body naturally craves a gentle cleanse. The energy in nature becomes lighter in spring, and so too should our diets.

The foods in season make this easy for us. There is a wide array of fresh, light, colourful vegetables and fruits available at this time of year, to help to gently cleanse the body while taking  a break from the heavier foods we have become accustomed to over the cooler months. Along with being lighter, much of the seasonal produce available assists in the body’s cleansing process. Think leafy greens, asparagus, coriander…

As a bonus, eating seasonally isn’t only great for your body. It’s healthy for your wallet too! Eating seasonally is the most cost-effective way to eat because produce that is seasonal is more abundant, and therefore more affordable. Here is a broad list of fruits and vegetables that are typically in season in the spring:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bok Choy
  • Carrots
  • Fava Beans
  • Garlic
  • Leeks
  • Salad Greens
  • Courgettes
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Scallions
  • Spinach
  • Spring Onions

 

To assist the body’s natural detoxification process, you may like to decrease your consumption of the following foods and beverages:

  • Sugar
  • Dairy
  • Bread
  • Hydrogenated fats
  • Processed foods
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee and tea
  • Chocolate

It’s also important when cleansing to try and avoid overeating. To assist the body in its natural cleansing processes, we need to be mindful about not placing an unnecessary burden on our digestive systems.

Some ways to include spring produce into your diet include;

  • Make a seasonal salad every day to form a significant portion of your lunch and dinner. Add a protein of your choice, such as grilled chicken, fish or tofu. Salads could include mesclun, carrots, snap peas, asparagus, radish, edible flowers…the options are endless really!
  • Rather than relying on heavy sauces or gravy to add flavor to dishes, consider using herbs such as chives, mint, dill, and parsley. The zest and juice of lemons also pair perfectly with Spring produce.
  • In winter, we’re more inclined to have a warm breakfast. Perhaps toast, a bowl of porridge. Come the warmer months; there’s more opportunity to add greens into the first meal of the day. Think a breakfast salad with spinach, cherry tomatoes, and hard-boiled eggs or perhaps a green smoothie with the likes of banana, kale, coconut water, and avocado.

However you decide to include the nutritional powerhouses of Spring produce, your meals are sure to become fresher, brighter and lighter. They’re also going to be heavy on the antioxidant load! Focus on adding in more greens and fresh goodness, and naturally, there is going to be less room for unhealthy foods and unhealthy habits that we may have picked up with one too many winter binge nights in front of Netflix!

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