Spring is here once again in the United Kingdom, and with it, many people will be looking to renew or launch their springtime goals. In the UK, two of the most common goals are getting more exercise and adopting a better diet. Although the British market is buying more healthy food than before, it seems consumers remain too busy to eat healthily. Around 60 percent say they struggle to find nutritious recipes, while two thirds say they simply do not have the time to prepare nutritious food. As a result, they find themselves reaching for unhealthy, pre-packaged alternatives. But re-evaluating your meal plan comes with great benefits like increased energy, sustained weight loss, and better skin health. Better yet, it doesn’t need to be that complicated. Simple, everyday changes in your dietary choices can get you on the right track and support your health goals this spring. More importantly, they can be kept up for a long time to come.
Go With The Seasonal Flow
In the United Kingdom, the spring season falls between March and May. During those months, there is a long list of fresh produce that comes into season, including beetroot, carrots, kale, spring greens, and other dark leafy vegetables. For fruits, you can easily access strawberries and most other berries along with rhubarb and Bramley apples. Artichokes and asparagus, which are in season in later spring, are rich in fibre and help you control your portion sizes. Meanwhile, radishes are rich in glucosinolates, which are key in the fight against cancer, while strawberries and other Vitamin C rich foods can promote a blemish-free complexion. With such an abundance of fresh vibrant produce, there is no better time than spring to take plan your meals using seasonal produce.
If you’re worried about the suitability in some of your cult-favourite recipes such as the traditional apple pie, try swapping your typical Granny Smith for Bramley apples, which give you the same tart taste but come with less sugar content. If you are having trouble identifying the kinds of produce you can expect to be in season this spring or want to plan your menu, try BBC Goodfood’s Seasonality Table, which shows you the months most fruit and vegetables come into season.
Boost Your Immune System And Fight Seasonal Allergies With Vitamin C And Omega 3 Rich Choices
Around 13 million people experience hayfever in the United Kingdom every spring. In fact, the number of hayfever cases is on the rise, according to data released by Kantar Health. As more British consumers reach for over the counter antihistamines, many of them are missing a key part of the solution: changing their diet. In some cases, making simple changes to your diet can help you combat your springtime allergies and their accompanying symptoms.
A Greek study showed that children who followed the Mediterranean diet (rich in anti-inflammatory foods and whole grains) were shown to experience fewer symptoms. Aim for fruit and vegetables that are rich in antioxidants like quercetin, such as berries, onions, cauliflower and cabbage. Vitamin C rich fruits such as strawberries and citrus have also been shown to help to reduce airway swelling. Fish like salmon, which is high in Omega 3, can also reduce your chances of having allergies in the first place. All of these are readily available every spring.
Above All, Eat Fresh This Spring
There are many arguments about why it is better to eat fresh food. Besides the fact that eating seasonal, fresh produce can be easier on your wallet (thanks to meal prep and minimal wastage), it can also be more nutritious. Fresh ingredients are filled with the highest levels of nutrients, including the all-important antioxidants. Additionally, they are less packed with preservatives like their frozen counterparts.
That being said, they are several arguments out there that frozen vegetables may be better than fresh vegetables. According to several studies, some vegetables can lose as much as 45 percent of their nutritional value by the time they reach your dining table. However, there is also the case of reduced farm to table time in the spring as more vegetables and fruit becomes readily available.
Lastly, switch up your dessert choices. Instead of reaching for the traditional ice cream and chocolate desserts, consider experimenting with fresh fruit to create fruit ice lollies or chocolate-dipped fruit. In most cases, the natural sweetness of the fruit is enough so there is no need to add sugar or sweeteners. The possibilities of transforming your diet are endless this spring – it’s up to you to choose how.