Spring is not known as the health season for no reason. The arrival of spring is a splendid time to revitalize your health regimens. It is the best time to start including fresh fruits and nutritious foods in our meals to bring about improvements to our health.
Your nutritional needs are constantly changing, hence it is essential to constantly adjust and monitor your food intake to best provide for your needs. As we get on in years, our metabolism starts to slow down. This implies that our need for food will decrease since we’ll burn fewer calories a day. At the same time, our bodies will become less efficient at absorbing nutrients. To make up for this, here are some spring nutrition tips that we can follow to ensure that we make the most out of what we consume in our daily meals.
Top Nutritional Food Choices for Spring
- Protein: To maintain our bodies’ efficiency in utilizing amino acids, we have to increase our intake of protein. This is vital for maintaining muscle mass and strength which tend to diminish as we age. However, adequate exercise and protein intake can help us slow this down. You should be consuming at least 1 to 1.2 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. To calculate your weight in kilograms, take your weight in pounds and divide it by 2.2. Generally speaking, each person should aim to consume at least 15 to 25 grams of protein at every meal.
- Nutritional Seasonal Foods: Some highly nutritious foods are exclusive to the spring season. These include cabbage, broccoli, peas, shallots, eggplants, peppers, carrots, strawberries, spinach, pears, and more. These foods are packed with high nutritional values that can improve your overall health. You can refer to the seasonal food guide list to find out what product is in season in the United States.
Maintain a Balanced Diet
In order to maintain a healthy body, we should eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet consists of adequate servings of foods from different food groups such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. You can access MyPlate Method from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to check if you’ve been having a balanced diet.
Visually, approximately half of your plate should be made up of fruits or non-starchy vegetables. A quarter of it should consist of starchy food. For every meal, you should serve it with a cup of dairy or plant-based milk.
However, exclusions do apply to individuals with chronic illnesses such as diabetes. For diabetic patients, it is best to consult with your physician or registered dietician. Do note that in these cases, drastic changes in your diet are not recommended.
Another highly recommended dietary guide that you can refer to is the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) method. This dietary method is developed to control blood pressure levels for individuals with hypertension. It promotes the intake of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables while cutting down on foods with fats, animal protein, and sodium. Not only is this diet suitable for people with hypertension, but also a healthy diet for anybody.
Other than consuming a balanced diet, having foods that are high in antioxidants such as vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains will also greatly improve your physical health. Foods rich in antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and promote healthy cell growth.
Maintain Hydration Levels
Last but not least, do remember to consume enough fluids for your body. The lack of fluids can lead to an increased risk of low blood pressure and urinary tract infections. As the days gradually become warmer, there is a need to stay well hydrated. For most individuals, it’s recommended that you drink at least eight to ten 8-oz. servings of liquid. Water is the healthiest and therefore, should be your preferred option.
Eating a balanced diet does not mean that you have to give up on your favorite foods. What you need to do is to control your food intake so you can maximize the nutritional value of the foods you consume. This spring, let us make wiser and healthier choices to enhance our physical health. Your body will thank you later!