Out of all the seasons Spring is the one that I look forward to the most, it didn’t always feel this way. I actually used to see it as a stepping stone between Winter and Summer. Winter gives me the excitement of Christmas and new year whilst Summer gives me the holidays and much needed sunshine. However the last couple of years I have really struggled with the cold dark winters and have been desperate for the first signs of Spring. The lighter nights, the flowers starting to bloom and the temperatures starting to rise a little. Spring is also a great time to start a fresh, have a good clear out, start getting some exercise. There is definitely more motivation to eat healthier and get more active once the Summer is in sight especially after the indulgence of the Winter months.
Biocare Clinical Nutrition Team have put together a few tips to help give our bodies a bit of a Spring clean this March
Stress less. Stress can deplete our body of essential nutrients such as B vitamins, zinc, magnesium, and vitamin C. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, yoga or knitting, alongside six to eight hours sleep a night and spending quality time with family and friends in the outdoors, can help to reduce stress and therefore replenish these levels. What’s more, getting outside will give those levels an even bigger boost as sunlight provides us with the vital vitamin D that we need to feel-good, to have a more robust immune system, improve our blood sugar regulation, and build stronger bones for movement and vitality.
Move, move and then move more. Our lymphatic drainage system is dependent on physical exercise to move and we should all be aiming for at least 20 minutes of exercise a day, according to Public Health England[i]. If you are new to exercise or are recovering from an injury and therefore need to go slowly, start with aiming for 10,000 steps per day. Any movement is beneficial when it comes to health and our detoxification systems. It can also help to make a difference to weight management and mental wellbeing.
Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The lymphatic system is 96% water, so it is dependent on adequate hydration for it to flow freely. Gradually increase your water intake over the course of the day (rather than all in one go) to help you to utilise it properly and reduce pressure on the kidneys, while avoiding excessive intake of beverages such as caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks. As well as dehydrating the body, these beverages also increase blood sugar and adrenaline levels which stimulate the release of insulin and drive inflammation. Make sure to increase your intake of electrolytes such as potassium and chloride, which can help to make sure that you are using this water to effectively hydrate our body cells. You can achieve this by increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables, and by adding coconut water into your drinking routine, especially around times of exertion, exercise and generalised fatigue, which is naturally rich in electrolytes.
Balance the gut. Our gut flora can be affected by factors such as a prescription medications, tummy bugs, traveller’s diarrhoea, food intolerances, and stress. Our microbiome, the city of bacteria regulating digestion and immune function, can then become dysfunctional and drive a myriad of other symptoms. Taking a good quality probiotic supplement everyday may help regulate digestion and get us back on track. (Try: BioCare Everyday BioAcidophilus £13.96 for 28 capsules available from BioCare.co.uk or independent health food stores.)
Stop the sneeze. If you’re allergic to pollen, your body releases a chemical called histamine to fight it, which in turn causes the symptoms which we associate with hay fever. To counteract this naturally, try increasing your intake of quercetin, vitamin C, and bromelain which possess anti-histamine properties. (Try: BioCare Quercetin Plus £26.65 for 90 capsules available from BioCare.co.uk or independent health food stores).
With these tips there is nothing stopping you from having a healthy, productive and happy spring!
This is a collaboration post. For more information on BioCare’s extensive product range please visit: www.biocare.co.uk