6 Awesome Ways to Spring Clean Your Diet

Springtime is here, and while you may have already done some spring cleaning in your home and out on your yard, it’s now time to see what sort of spring cleaning you can do to reboot your eating habits! In this article, we offer some tips for achieving a healthier everyday diet this season.

Restock Your Fridge and Pantry

During the winter holidays, you’re likely to have overindulged on a lot of great-tasting but sinful food items—from bûche de noësl and Yorkshire puddings to pot roasts and even venti cups of Starbucks’ holiday peppermint mocha Frappuccino. This spring, take the opportunity to clean out your fridge and pantry and to replace your stock of items with healthier choices—be it whole or packaged food products.

Aim for a Multi-Colored Meals

If the meal you eat on a daily basis is chockfull of whites, browns, and beige shades, you’re probably eating too much meat and refined carbohydrates. What you really want is to take advantage of the bountiful varieties of produce available this season and to decorate your plate with their different colors.

Fruits like apricot, honeydew, mangoes, oranges, and strawberries, as well as vegetables like artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, and watercress are abundant during springtime. The pigments in these fruits and veggies contain plant nutrients and antioxidants that are very good for your health. For instance, red represents lycopene, while orange and yellow represent carotenoids; blue and purple, on the other hand, usually means anthocynanins, and green means the presence of chlorophyll and lutein.

Consume Healthy Fats

Saturated fats—such as those found in meat, dairy, lard, palm oil, margarine, and coconut oil—should only be consumed in moderation because they can increase the levels of “bad cholesterol” (low-density lipoprotein) in the body. Take note that high levels of LDL in the blood can put a person at a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Instead of consuming food products that are high in saturated fats, choose those that contain unsaturated fats instead. Found in nuts, seeds, avocadoes, and fatty fish (e.g. sardines, trout, salmon, tuna, and mackerel), unsaturated fats can actually help lower levels of LDL and overall cholesterol in the body.

If you find it challenging to consume these food products on a regular basis, consider their healthy processed alternatives. For instance, you may want to substitute wholesome nut butters and delicious nut milk products for actual nuts. Nut milks come in many varieties including almond nut milk, peanut milk, walnut milk, and hazelnut milk, but make sure to choose a brand that preserves most of the nutrients of the whole ingredients.

Make Room for Probiotics

Probiotics are live microorganisms that are typically found in yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and many other fermented products. These microorganisms include bacterial species like Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bulgaricus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Streptococcus thermophilus, as well as yeasts like Saccharomyces boulardii.

Probiotics have been known to help with conditions like infectious diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, and antibiotic-related diarrhea—because they essentially help bring balance back to an affected person’s gut flora. There are also studies that point to how these beneficial microorganisms can actually promote longevity, noting that regions around the world where fermented food products are popular tend to have populations that live long and healthy lives.

Choose Whole Grains

If you’re fond of eating white bread, white pasta, and white rice, it’s time to make a change this spring by opting for their whole grain variants instead. Whole grains refer to grains that are either left in their whole form or ground into flour while still having all of the good parts of the seed, including the bran, germ, and the endosperm. This means, you get to enjoy all the nutritional content of the source plant, which includes B vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate, as well as minerals like iron, magnesium, folate, and selenium.

On the contrary, refined grains are milled and have had the germ and bran removed, which makes them smoother and more longer-lasting in terms of shelf life but devoid of the nutrients and fiber found in their whole form.

Enjoy More Home-Cooked Meals

Takeout foods are often so rich in oil and sodium that they’re not really the best option for your daily meals. By cooking your own meals instead, you get to save some money while also allowing yourself to de-stress and to learn new recipes or a new skill (the act of cooking itself). Moreover, you get to decide just how much fat and salt to put in your own food.

With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to make your diet a whole lot cleaner this spring!

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