Spring is here and, just like we give the house a good spring cleaning, this is a great time to do the same for your entire family’s diet. The growing season is beginning which means farmers’ markets will be opening in the next few weeks or months. In addition, we will be able to finally get outside more after a long, cold winter.
Here are a few ways in which you can help clean up your family’s diet this spring:
- Eat more foods that “clean you out”. Think fiber. Foods that are high in fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fiber binds fat in the gut and blood stream and carries it to be excreted in waste. Speaking of which, the more waste you are able to eliminate, the more toxins you are also disposing of as well.
- Focus on foods that support detoxification processes in the body. The body has major organs that detoxify our system, specifically the liver, kidneys, skin and gut. Certain foods have phytonutrients that support these detoxification processes. These foods include lemon juice, onions, garlic, asparagus, apples and brassica vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussell sprouts.
- Drink plenty of water. I recommend that kids drink milk with meals and water only between meals. Water helps “flush out” toxins. Drinking water throughout the day provides our blood and cells with fresh fluids continuously for optimum function. Drinking water throughout the day prevents sluggishness that accompanies inadequate hydration.
- Get rid of sugar. If sugar is present in your family’s diet more than once per day, consider decreasing what sweets you keep in the house. Eating sugar in moderation is fine, which is about once per day. Remember that sugar is in many more foods than just candy and cookies. It is a major ingredient in many cereals, granola bars, yogurts, fruits snacks and beverages.
- While you’re at it, clean out the food pantry. Just go ahead and toss or donate any foods that are not “clean”. This includes processed foods (think boxes and bags of snacks) and refined flours and sugars.