Spring Clean Your Gut – With milder temperatures and more daylight hours, the arrival of Spring could be just what your body needs. If you are looking for some inspiration or a spring health MOT, clinical nutritionist, Suzie Sawyer for Alive! has seven diet and lifestyle essential tips.
#1 Spring colour your diet:
Spring is a great time to incorporate more colourful, fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables into the diet. Warmer weather produce, such as purple sprouting broccoli, sweet peppers, courgettes, rocket, and salad leaves are all packed with micronutrients the body needs and thrives on. Specifically, the supernutrient beta-carotene is rich in green, red and orange fruits and vegetables and helps protect the immune system, the skin from sun damage and attack from other free radicals. This in turn protects the body against disease and the ageing process. It’s time to pack some more colour into your daily diet.
Top Takeaway – Load your plate with red, green, and orange foods
#2 Love your gut:
Winter bugs and infections requiring a course of antibiotics may well have left your gut in need of support. Your gut bacteria also play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system so include live bacteria in your diet with yoghurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kefir and kombucha.
Consider also replenishing friendly gut bacteria with a good-quality daily probiotic supplement that survives the stomach acid and reaches the digestive tract which can help rebalance the gut flora. I recommend Fortify Friendly Bacteria Gummies from Nature’s Way, which provides 6 billion viable live cultures of a lactic acid-producing strain, Bacillus coagulans, which also supports the immune system.
Top Takeaway – A healthy gut communicates with the brain through nerves and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.
#3 H2O up…
Water is essential for life, and keeping our body hydrated is necessary for many of our important bodily functions to take place. As well as promoting good health, keeping hydrated also prevents the development of urinary tract infections (UTIs), kidney stones and constipation.
Your body loses more moisture when it’s warmer outside so it’s important to keep hydrated. Dehydration can pose serious health risks if severe — and even if you’re just mildly dehydrated, it can cause fatigue, low energy, and headaches. The NHS Eatwell Guide says we should drink 6 to 8 cups or glasses of fluid a day.
Top Takeaway – Drink six to eight glasses of water daily
#4 Get Active:
Getting enough physical activity every day is important. It can be as simple as taking a walk around the block or spending some time gardening. Any activity that gets your joints and muscles moving can help. Exercise engages all your senses, and it has a big effect on your mood and self-esteem. Being outside can boost vitamin D levels, thanks to the sun. However, we still need to be supplementing with vitamin D at this time of year, to get blood levels optimal.
Top Takeaway – Take some exercise in the fresh air and supplement with vitamin D, every day
#5 Sleeping Beauty:
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge and repair, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. Good sleep is also essential for a robust immune system.
If dark, cold winter days have thrown your sleep schedule off track, use Spring as a reset.
If you often have difficulty in getting to sleep or experience broken sleep, consider taking Bonuit Sleep Aid a relaxing natural herbal remedy combination, of two key ingredients: Valerian and Passionflower.
Valerian is known for its positive effect on sleep structure, helping achieve deeper levels of slow-wave sleep. Passionflower has traditionally been used for its benefits in reducing symptoms of stress, such as mild anxiety which can hinder the initial act of falling asleep.
Top Takeaway – Use nature’s treasure chest of herbal remedies to improve sleep quality
#6 Watch out for allergens – both inside and out: Springtime brings a spike in outdoor allergens like pollen, but it’s also a good time to minimise your exposure to allergens indoors, where most of us spend a lot of our time. If you suffer from allergies, it’s a good time to spring clean your house, including giving your rugs and carpets a deep clean.
FACT: Nature provides a natural antihistamine, a plant flavonoid named quercetin, which can be especially helpful for allergy sufferers. Many fruits and vegetables are rich in quercetin including apples, onions, citrus fruits, dark berries, cherries, and grapes.
Top Takeaway – Prevent the sneezes with a clean house and colourful food
Avoiding fruits and vegetables can lead to a nutrient deficiency which is bad news for our health and wellness especially as we need 45 vitamins and minerals a day to fuel our bodies. Here are a few nutrient must have heroes:
B-vitamins are all about boosting energy levels
Vitamin D keeps bones, teeth, and muscles healthy
Vitamin C we need for immune support
Vitamin A keeps our skin and eyes healthy
Vitamin K is good for blood clotting, helping wounds to heal
Mighty minerals such as calcium, magnesium, iron, and potassium, contribute to your skeletal, nerve and cardiovascular health.
Taking a high-quality multivitamin and multimineral supplement daily helps bridge any dietary gaps, including that all-important vitamin D, and this is essential to our health, especially as many of us struggle to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet.
The Alive! range of multivitamins and minerals is suitable for vegetarians and provides perfectly balanced, complete formulations for the whole family.
Top Takeaway – Leave nothing to chance and plug nutrient gaps with a daily multivitamin supplement.