Nutrition Tips From A Dietitian
March is the first spring month and on these first spring days, we experience physical and emotional changes. It is true that in some parts of the country the weather is still very much like in winter but we still feel very different with the change in season. These changes affect not only our everyday routine but our diet as well. While in winter we crave for nutritious, loaded dishes that help us to survive cold weather, in spring our body naturally wants something fresh, light, and low-calorie. At this time of the year, we better listen to what our wants.
Spring is not only the time when nature wakes up from its winter sleep and the sun is shining most of the days. There are other signs of spring such as avitaminosis, lack of physical activity, and seasonal depression that is related to changes in seasons. No wonder people have “spring blues” when the weather is changing every day and even several times a day. We are all busy and not all of us have time to go to the gym or regularly exercise at home. However, everyone can rethink their diet and develop spring eating habits. If you suffer apathy, chronic fatigue, sleepiness, and the feeling of stomach heaviness, it is a red flag that you need to change your diet.
Stremousova Valeria, a registered dietitian, explained how to make changes in your diet:
– Antioxidants are incredibly important in spring as they help to eliminate free radicals and prevent their harmful effect. The most common and strong antioxidant is Vitamin C, it not only cleans our body but also improves iron absorption. Our weak body needs iron to feel good. While there are many food supplements with Vitamin C, you can find good sources rich in this vitamin right in your kitchen. Include in your spring diet sweetbrier tea, citrus fruits, parsley, dill, black currant, and cabbage of all varieties. However, be aware that fresh cabbage is contraindicated in cardiovascular and intestinal diseases. People with such diseases may want to eat fermented cabbage, it retains all its nutritional benefits. Vitamin C also improves Vitamin D synthesis.
In winter, we do not have enough sun, and sun exposure is the most natural way to get Vitamin D. So we enter spring with Vitamin D deficiency. We can replenish our Vitamin D levels by adding to our diet fish, meat or using food supplements.
Vitamin E is one more strong antioxidant which cleans our body eliminating free radicals and makes muscle fibers work more actively. After a cold season we often feel muscle weakness, fatigue, and lack of energy. Vitamin E helps to regain energy in our body and life. The main source of Vitamin E is oil. And the good news is you may choose any oil you like – olive, sunflower or any other.
Actually, we need a complex of vitamins to feel good in spring. Make sure that you eat enough foods that contain B vitamins because they are good for your nervous system. Include in your diet such foods as meat, especially liver and kidney, bread, lettuce, grains, and cereals.
In spring we intuitively crave for fruits and vegetables and this is a good thing. Experts recommend a daily intake of 300 grams of fruits and berries. Daily consumption of vegetables is at least 500 grams a day. But do not eat more than 100 grams a day potatoes, carrots, and beetroot.
People who want to lose weight and be in good shape for spring should remember that calorie counting does not always work. To satisfy hunger we have to it more low-calorie foods and this may expand your stomach leading to obesity and other negative consequences.
Eat three times a day and incorporate in your diet a protein meal and a side dish. Good protein sources are cottage cheese, chicken, beef, rabbit, turkey, fish, seafood, eggs. You may have snacks between breakfast and lunch, lunch and dinner and before you go to bed. Good healthy snacks are fruits, vegetable salads, yogurt, cottage cheese patties, berries, fruit and vegetable smoothies.
Everyone is talking about a morning habit of drinking a large glass of water after you wake up. As practice shows, people who drink a glass or even two glasses of water in the morning before food enters their stomach began to feel much better.