Our Ballarat Naturopaths believe that Spring is the ideal time to change your diet, to re-energise your body in preparation for the warmer months.
During Winter, we tend to reach for rich, heavy foods like stews, soups, curries and casseroles. These foods are important in Winter because they help keep the body warm when the temperature drops.
But in Spring, as the weather starts to warm up it is important to support the body with nutrients, along with activity and regular exercise, so that we feel rejuvenated and energised.
Nature supports us by providing us with foods that are ideal to eat at the time of year. Foods that are in season during Spring include
Our Naturopath, Jasmine Setchell, recommends re-introducing the following foods and nutrients during Spring:
"During spring, we want to increase fibre and water intake," Jasmine says. "Start bringing back fresh salads and lighter meals."
A lot of green vegetables such as broccoli, asparagus, and snap peas can be blanched. Because blanched vegetables aren't fully cooked, a lot of their helps nutrients are retained. Blanched vegetables are also suitable for freezing, making Spring salads quick and efficient to create.
Increase Fibre & Water
In the colder months, we tend to eat heavier meals, drink less water and be more inactive. This can have an impact on bowel health. "As the weather warms up, we should be increasing our fibre and drinking more water, and that will help improve bowel movements," Jasmine says.
People who are prone to constipation, or suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome can often experience flare ups as the weather warms up because the body is placed under more stress. In warmer temperatures, we sweat more and that can lead to dehydration. Increasing water can help negate the likelihood of dehydration, and improve bowel health.
Foods high in dietary fibre will also keep the digestive system healthy. Beans, lentils, and legumes, berries, broccoli, whole grains and pears will help promote regular bowel movements.
It is common for people to catch colds, flus and other illness throughout Winter. These illnesses, and sometimes the medication taken to help people recover, can reduce the amount of good bacteria in the gut. Probiotic foods help restore good gut bacteria.
Fermented foods such as kraut, kefir and yoghurt are all sources of probiotic foods. They can help fight off bad bacteria and help increase good bacteria, boosting our immune system.
"Spring is a great time to reassess how much fruit you are eating. If it has decreased during Winter, start coming back to eating 2-3 serves of fruit a day," Jasmine says.
Fruit provides the body with vitamins and minerals that will help boost the immunity, restore gut health and increase energy. Apples, avocados, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, mandarins, oranges, rhubarb, pineapple and watermelon all come into season throughout spring and can be prepared in a variety of ways, so that eating fruit can be easy, interesting and appetising.
Essential Fatty Acids
"Essential fatty acids from seeds, nuts and fish should be included in your diet across the week," Jasmine explains.
Essential fatty acids can help reduce the risk of heart disease and bowel disease, and contribute to skin health and cognitive functioning.
"Spring is the best time to reassess what you are eating, start increasing or bringing back regular exercise and incidental activities - like gardening, walking to and from the shops, taking the stairs - and still getting adequate sleep," Jasmine says.
Jasmine's Spring Miso Soup Recipe
Spiral foods Miso 2-3 tbs
Spring onions x 2
Silken Tofu or Poached Chicken breast
Buckwheat soba noodles
Carrot (thinly sliced)
Cook buckwheat noodles as directed and set aside
Sauté ginger and Spring Onions in a small amount of oil
Add two cups of boiling water
Add vegetables and simmer for 1-2 minutes
Turn off the heat and gentle stir the miso through the mix
In a bowl, place buckwheat noodles, tofu or chicken
Gently pour over miso liquid
Garnish with coriander