A-h-h finally it’s spring, I was hoping for an early spring but when the buzzword trending was “Nor’easter” I realized Mother Nature had her own plan; in fact, Mother Nature has a dynamic word called four seasons. Each season is beautifully designed to bring in changing weather patterns which changes the environment. Cold weather brings plants to dormancy, spring starts buds sprouting and seeds pollinating. Autumn harvest to creates reserve for the survival of cold weather. The evolving pattern impacts all animals and humans to react in an instinctual way.
Let’s examine this further, we know plants pollinate and shed leaves according to the seasons. Animals nest according to season, even changing there diet according to season, does this mean humans should also rotate and evolve their ways and diet according to season? Can our body really adjust well to the signs of weather patterns and even the time change? Here’s what I’m thinking, it’s the middle of August and the sun is beating down and the rays of the sun react with our skin and produces Vitamin D. Pretty amazing.
Vitamin D gives the body remarkable health benefits including protecting bones and preventing “seasonal affective disorder.” It makes you “feel happy” in the summer and provides a whole host of other benefits, the list goes on.
Did you ever notice our appetite reduces in the summer, well it’s supposed to. Why? Because body temperature rises and humans need less food. Winter comes along and we are more sedentary and we get less sun light—if any, meaning less vitamin D. Every ache and pain becomes more pronounced.
By spring, we are not exactly feeling our best and it’s questionable if we are ready for that summer bikini. Think about it, spring is to “renew” and blossom into a fresh new starts and shed winter blahs, weight and anything old in our lifestyle that just isn’t working for us any more, yes a time for a “fresh start” but is our body saying the same message? Should we be eating more seasonal? My thought is, since our ancestors had a very different lifestyle and habitat different from today’s world—I know their diet was extremely different, I believe that our bodies do not adjust well to the onset of seasonal weather changes, and by making dietary and lifestyle changes our spring into summer can be a much easier transition. Here are some healthy suggestions that may make your change from spring to summer a healthier one.
• Drink water with lemon every morning
• Avoid processed and fast foods that contain chemical ingredients
• Stick to organic whenever possible
• Exercise daily—take a walk by the sea, it’s very healing
• Try getting a small dose of rays daily for vitamin D
• Eat enzyme-rich foods, like yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, miso soup
• Take Probiotics
• Eat foods with more color that are enriched with anti-oxidants
• Drink a lot of water and avoid excessive caffeine
• Stick to whole, plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds
• Practice deep breathing daily
• Eliminate common allergens such as wheat, soy, dairy products, and peanuts
• Choose organic, naturally raised and pastured meats like free-range organic poultry
• Eat plant foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as chia seeds, walnuts and green veggies
• Eliminate refined sugars
• Drink plenty of pure water throughout the day
• Eat a lot of raw foods that contain their own water, like salads containing lots of brightly colored vegetables.
• Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which are dehydrating, try adding in organic Green tea daily.
• Try walnuts. Looking to add Omega-3 fatty acids to your diet but not a fan of fish? Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3s, which help put shine in your hair and aid in making skin smoother and younger looking.
• Reach for tomatoes. A study found that lycopene-rich tomato paste helped participants prevent sunburn when they combined it with olive oil, daily for 10 weeks. Besides being a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are considered a high-carotenoid fruit.
• Crack open some eggs. Protein helps repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. Eggs, a complete source of protein, also contain biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin.
• Grow an herb garden, it’s easier then you think- herbs like basil, rosemary, parsley are loaded with antioxidants.
Wishing all a very healthy summer-as always consult with your physician prior to changing any dietary needs and exercise program.
Maria Dello, CN is nutritionist and owner of Dellonutritionals, located at 75 Plandome Road in Manhasset, NY. Ms. Dello was most recently seen on CBS Channel 2 News and frequently appears on television nutrition segments.