It’s that time again! Spring is here which means that we all have survived another long cold winter! We all know that we tend to eat slightly differently in the winter months, reaching for those so called ‘comfort foods!
However now that the weather is getting warmer it is time to shake things up a bit to hydrate, alkalise and rid the body of toxins so that we can all achieve our most optimum level of health!! How do we do this? Spring clean your body with these top tips!
Eat more foods that alkalise the body
Foods that have an alkalising effect help to maintain the body’s natural pH balance. Use this general rule of thumb to maintain a healthy acid and alkaline balance, consume 80% alkaline forming foods and 20% acid forming foods.
Now let’s take a look at which foods have an alkalising effect and which foods are acid forming. Some foods that you can add into your daily diet to alkalise the body include leafy green vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, bok choy and swisse chard), cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts) and root vegetables (beet, carrot, onion, potato, sweet potato, radish and turnip).
Surprisingly enough, citrus fruits such as lemons, limes and oranges are also alkalising when consumed internally. You may wish to squeeze ¼ of fresh lemon or lime into a cup of lukewarm water, 15 minutes prior to main meals to not only alkalise the body but to also stimulate the digestive process. If you are not a fan of lemon or limes, apple cider vinegar has the same action. Just add 2 teaspoons to a glass of water and drink before meals. Also drinking a glass of water with ½ a lemon squeezed into it first thing in the morning, is a great way to kick start your day and your metabolism.
Research demonstrates that consuming acid forming foods in excess leads to inflammation and the progression of disease states. Acid forming foods can be highly refined and processed so always consume these foods in moderation. They generally also contain high amounts of sugar, artificial sweeteners, flavours and colours, as well as bad fats such as saturated fats and trans fats.
Examples of food’s that have a high acidity include fast food, white pasta and bread, caffeinated drinks (tea, coffee and energy drinks), alcohol, beef, lamb, seafood (oysters, clams, lobster, mussels, shrimp and scallops), carbonated soft drinks, potato chips, lollies, cheese and cow’s milk.
Make sure that you are consuming approximately 1.5 - 2 litres of water each day to stay hydrated. You may require a higher water intake depending on your weight and diet. A great way to keep track of your water intake is to carry a water bottle with you at all times and count the number of times that you fill it up.
Water is also an important cleansing agent that helps to purify the body by flushing out your liver and kidneys. If you don’t like the taste of water, add some liquid chlorophyll to it, not only does it have a minty fresh taste, it helps to alkalise, detoxify and oxygenate the body.
Support Healthy Digestion
Consume wholegrain fibres because they are less refined and they contain the nutritious parts of the grain including the entire germ, bran and endosperm. Examples of whole grain fibres include whole wheat oats and grains, wild rice, buckwheat, quinoa, millet, brown rice, sorghum and rye.
According to Dietitians Association of Australia, Australians should aim to eat 25-30 grams of fibre each day. Consuming adequate amounts of fibre bulks the stools to assist in the elimination process. It is essential to maintain healthy digestion to ensure that we are removing metabolic waste and absorbing the nutrients from our foods. Fibre also helps us to feel fuller for longer to prevent unnecessary snacking.
Now that the weather is getting warmer get outside and enjoy it!! It is important to spend some time in the sun uncovered to soak up the sun rays to stimulate the production of vitamin D which helps to support healthy bones, our immune system and a healthy mood.
Exercise helps to stimulate the production of hormones such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins which make us feel good and help to support a healthy mood! When we exercise we sweat which helps to cleanse the body of toxins and enhance circulation. Exercising regularly also helps to manage stress in a positive way and keeps our body healthy physically.
Minimise your consumption of processed foods
We all know that we do this from time to time but it is important that we consume processed foods in moderation. Processed foods tend to have a high glycemic index which is responsible for causing blood sugar high’s and low’s. When blood sugar levels rise quickly we tend to experience a sudden burst of energy. However this blood sugar high is often followed by a sudden blood sugar low which is often referred to the sugar crash that often results in various unpleasant symptoms some including fatigue, headaches, and irritability.
The best kind of food you can eat, doesn’t come in a packet! If you want to get your diet back on track and be eating to right foods for you, make an appointment to see your local naturopath or nutritionist.
Reduce your caffeine and alcohol intake
Drinking excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol can reduce the absorption of nutrients and lead to dehydration. One or two caffeinated drinks daily would be an ideal intake.
Caffeine can cause the release of the hormone adrenalin which is the same hormone that is produced when we become scared or frightened. The release of adrenaline may cause sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, heart palpitations and frequent urination.
The Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing recommends that both adult men and women should not consume more than two standard alcoholic drinks on a daily basis. It is also important to research the definition of what a standard alcoholic drink entails because different types of alcohol have different concentrations therefore have different measurements for what is considered a standard drink.
Cleanse your mind
Turn those negative thoughts into positive ones! A positive state of mind is so important for both our mental and physical wellbeing. This allows us to have the ability to make clear decisions, have healthy relationships and be happy! So how do we create positive thinking?!
- Take time out when you need it to reflect on events that may be troubling you so that you can create a plan of action to solve ongoing problems in a positive and effective way.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for additional help, support or a friendly chat from your friends, family or a professional counsellor when you need it. Speaking to others about our concerns or problems helps to put things into perspective and release negative thoughts in a constructive mannerism.
- Meditate to clear your mind so that you can keep a level head to make positive decisions.
- Write your thoughts, goals and achievements in a journal so that you can track your progress and work through your thoughts in a positive and clear manner.
- Have a gratitude journal; write one thing down every day what you are grateful or thankful for. This really helps to change our mindset and show us how truly blessed we really are!