Shake off the winter months with a nutrient spring clean!
-Mar 14, Dr Carrie Ruxton, Health -
March sees the first day of spring, but up here in the northern hemisphere it very much still feels like winter. The dark, cold months at the beginning of the year can have an impact on our energy levels, immune system and cognitive function, so the start of spring is the perfect time to shake off the winter with a nutrient spring clean.
If you’re starting to consider spring cleaning your house, your beauty routine or even your entire life then why not do a nutrient spring clean? It’s super easy and you will see benefits in a matter of weeks. And, you’ll notice your energy levels rise as well as being able to fight off any colds that are lurking around.
A doctor’s top five tips to get your health on track for spring
Dr Carrie Ruxton, from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (HSIS), says: “We can’t magic up more sunlight in the UK but there are ways we can adapt our diets to get our health back on track for the spring and summer.”
Here, she shares her top tips to help you start spring feeling full of energy instead of sluggish and tired.
How to boost your energy levels naturally
The foods which help blood vessels function properly
Support your active lifestyle by choosing food and drinks rich in polyphenols which support blood vessel function, such as colourful fruits and vegetables, orange juice, tea and dark chocolate.
How to clear up and blast away brain fog
Mental function depends on the ease of chemical messages jumping from one brain junction to another, called synapses. Studies show that the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids help to make this process more effective.
Omega-3s can be found in oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel, or supplements which contain flaxseed oil. Worth adding to your shopping list, especially as we hear that eating salmon every day clears up problem skin.
Quality sleep is the key to feeling fantastic
While we can feel more sleepy and sluggish in the winter and spring, this can often be helped by getting better quality sleep, not necessarily more sleep!
Switch off all screen-based entertainment at least an hour before bed, do some relaxing meditation and then enjoy a warm milky drink. Dairy foods contain an amino acid, called tryptophan, which the body uses to make serotonin and help regulate sleep.
How to fight off a cold
Take a multivitamin, or a supplement containing vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin C and zinc, as well as vitamin D, are known to support normal immune function. When Vitamin C and zinc are taken in combination at the start of a cold, they can knock a couple of days off your symptoms.
Vitamin C can also be found in kiwi and citrus fruits, while fish and meat are a rich source of zinc.
Load up on vitamin B for an energy boost
Energy levels can feel low as winter recedes. B vitamins have a vital role in helping the body to extract energy from our foods particularly carbohydrates. A ‘B complex’ supplement, containing thiamin, riboflavin, B6, B12, folic acid and niacin is a good option, particularly if you are vegetarian or vegan.
B vitamins are found naturally in meat, fish and eggs.