Six detox diet tips for a healthy, vibrant Spring
From swerving stodgy foods to upping the amount of veg you eat – embracing a lighter way of eating can accrue some big health wins that will leave you feeling totally re-charged this Spring.
Nutritionist Dana Chapman shares six simple tips to help you feel lighter for the season ahead...
1) Eliminate Stodgy Foods
Winter is packed with comforting home cooked meals that give us a cosy kick, but they tend to be higher in carbs, gluten and dairy, and lower in nutritious veg and fruit.
As a first step, Dana suggests phasing these foods out and introducing nourishing and colorful veggies into the diet:-
“Aim for color on your plate and make simple switches like sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes and cauliflower rice in place of white rice”, she says. “Go for as many colors as you can – adding extra veggies like red peppers, zucchini and red onion into the mix for a rainbow-rich plate of food.”
2) Watch out for processed foods
Whilst processed foods tick the box for convenience, they are often difficult for the body to digest and can trigger inflammation. Some of these foods are addictive too - gluten and dairy for example have been shown to hit the opioid receptors in the brain, causing us to seek them out.
Dana suggests breaking the cycle by aiming to cook more from scratch and ensuring the bulk of meals are made up of wholefoods. “If you’re buying packaged foods, aim for no more than 5 ingredients on the list”, she says.
“It’s also useful to get into the ‘turn and learn’ habit of looking carefully at food labels. If it contains E numbers or sugar (fructose, glucose, dextrose, etc) put it down – these foods add to our toxin burden – not toxin removal.”
3) Get on board with healthy fats
“Adding more healthy fats might seem counter intuitive”, says Dana – “but our bodies actually need fat and support with the absorption of key nutrients and vitamins including A, D, K and E.”
“Fat also helps keep us satiated which might help us from diving into the sweet snacks mid-morning or afternoon. Try adding eggs, avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil and butter to meals to help increase the satiating and vitamin absorbing potential.”
4) Eat with the season for detoxification
"Spring is an amazing time of year where foods like purple sprouting broccoli, cauliflower, spring greens, rhubarb, radishes and asparagus naturally come into season. These tend to be lighter and easier to digest than the denser foods of winter (such as potatoes, beetroot and squashes) and they’re amazing for detoxification”, says Dana.
“Detoxification happens naturally in the body and despite popular belief, we don’t need to ‘boost’ it by going on juice fasts or liquid diets, many of which can do more harm than good.
The best approach is to focus on getting lots of vitamins into the diet, with a big focus on cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, kale and cabbage.”
5) Fill up with fibre to feel lighter
Nothing makes you feel lighter than removing waste from your body, and the best way to do this is to include more fibre in your diet. The recommendation is 30g of fibre a day and this can be made up with foods like nuts, beans, seeds and lentils.
These foods not only contain good sources of protein and fat (essential for feeling fuller for longer) but they also have really great levels of fibre in them.
Dana suggests adding a tablespoon of lentils or chickpeas to some of your favorite dishes, sprinkling nuts or seeds onto vegetables or salads, or simply snacking on a handful of raw/unsalted nuts.
6) Make sustainable changes
Making positive changes to the way you eat doesn’t have to happen overnight! Set small and achievable goals with a few key switches introduced each week.
Dana's suggestions include:-
- Eat more greens, focus on including green vegetables on your plate at least twice a day, try a green smoothie for breakfast, or a salad at lunch with seasonal green leaves
- Eat colorful foods that are rich in antioxidants - these will naturally help your body eliminate toxins and get you feeling lighter
- Increase your intake of raw foods – include a raw fruit or vegetable with each meal, seasonal fruit for breakfast, raw radishes with lunch and a handful of bean sprouts for dinner
- Eat more vegetables – the ultimate aim is to eat 6-7 portions of vegetables daily. If you’re nowhere near this start by aiming for 3 vegetables daily. Fullgreen Riced veggies are great for convenience with two portions of veg per pouch.
- Eat more variety – this ensure a wider nutrient profile and supports the gut microbiome
5 easy changes you can make for lighter eating this Spring:
4) Get a great Spring rainbow bowl under your belt that you can tweak with different veg. Our Green Goddess Pesto Cauli Rice NEVER disappoints.
5) Make some low carb flatbreads to enjoy with your favorite dips.