Spring is a great time to kickstart a health plan. Think about what you’ve been doing to help yourself thrive as you age. If nothing comes to mind, nutrition is always a good place to begin. The right nutrition will set you up for better sleep, energy and clarity so that you can move freely, be social and give yourself the best chance to keep illness and disease at a distance.
If disease has already entered your life, what better reason to try to improve the way you feel and make the best of any condition.
At this time of year cleanses are heavily promoted to rid inflammation, detoxify overworked livers and get digestion working smoothly, but older women should be careful about switching to drastic juice fasts and limiting detoxification diets. They are not for everyone.
Simply starting to support your body with restorative cleansing foods added to your daily meals will gently begin to clear your system of toxins that easily build up in even the healthiest of bodies. The right foods at the right time will help your body do what it does naturally – detox. Learning to do this will result in long-term positive effects.
Foods that are cleansing, anti-inflammatory, liver and kidney supportive are a welcome addition to most diets. Since there’s such a wide variety of them you should be able to find some that will agree with you and if you can’t, work with a nutrition professional who can help you find the food that will.
Your gut is where it all begins and learning what foods work for you and what foods don’t is vital to healthy independent living. You might wish to take a digestive health workshop. The more you know how to support your body, the better you become at navigating the changes that occur as you age.
The following are a selection of good supportive cleansing foods rich in phytonutrients that contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These, along with adequate hydration, make a great first step in supporting yourself. Start incorporating them into your diet and when you can, always choose organic varieties to avoid the extra toxic burden of pesticides.
A = Apples (particularly green ones), Artichokes, Asparagus, Arugula, Avocado
B = Berries, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Beets, Beet Greens (just as restorative as the beet root)
C = Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chicory, Celery (and Celery Tops too!)
It’s good to start your meals with bitter greens and other bitter foods like arugula, dandelion, chicory, radish and fennel. Bitter foods help promote production of your digestive juices and get the whole digestive process ready to work for you. A few bites and you’re on your way.
Herbs are loaded with phytonutrients and can be very beneficial when used regularly. Take dried parsley, it’s the most powerful source of apigenin, a plant compound which is both anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective.
Garlic is another powerhouse proven to be protective in numerous health conditions, and turmeric shines with its powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Other supportive herbs include clove, cilantro, cinnamon, chamomile, mint and onions. Use these and others generously during your daily meals.
If you change nothing else, change the way you start your day. A few tablespoons of nourishing food will get you off to a great start.
Here are some ideas:
Adding good food into your diet has great benefits, but the hope is that eventually you will slowly begin to rid yourself of other taxing inflammatory foods, those that stress your digestive system and overwork your liver throughout the year.
Be proactive with your health, but remember to always consult your physician before you make dietary changes, especially if you’re managing a chronic condition or taking medication.
How do you transition from a winter diet to a spring diet? Do you try to cleanse your liver with certain foods? What is the best food habit you have incorporated in your life?
Tags Healthy Eating
Wow!!! I like your food suggestions. They will be fun as summer approaches – I need to plant some of the foods you suggested so harvesting them right before eating is possible.
Thanks again: Nancy
Growing your own is such a wonderful way to approach them. Happy gardening!
Thanks for this very useful information. Another very important point regarding nutrition, is that of eliminating sugar and white flour from the diet. Both of these are highly inflamatory and reek havoc with the body.
You are right! Sugar can be very damaging indeed.