After hibernating indoors throughout the winter months and indulging in a variety of holiday celebrations, diet quality can often begin to suffer. A diet filled with added sugars and unhealthy saturated fat while low in fruits and vegetables can drain energy, increase bloat, and even have a negative impact on mood. But with just a few simple tweaks, you can clean up your meal plan to have you feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle all that spring has to offer.
Be a sugar sleuth
Added sugars can be found hidden in foods you may never expect. From salad dressings to breads and even in some deli meats, these hidden sugars can be slipping in where you least expect it. Eating too much added sugar can zap energy, cause blood sugar to spike, and even negatively impact memory and concentration. So how much is too much? The American Heart Association recommends no more than 10 percent of total calories come from added sugar. If you eat a 2000-calorie diet, this would be equivalent to 50 grams of added sugars per day.
Becoming familiar with how to identify added sugars on a food label is key to reducing your intake. By 2020, all food manufacturers will need to call out added sugars on the Nutrition Facts panel. However, right now added sugars are included under total sugar, making it hard to differentiate between naturally occurring sugars (like those found in fruit) and damaging added sugars. In order to determine the difference, you need to be a bit of a detective. Take a look at the ingredient list on the label and pay attention to the top five ingredients. These are the ingredients that make up the majority of the food. If a source of added sugar is included in the top five, the food most likely contains a high amount of added sugars and should be limited.
Beat the bloat with artichoke
If the last few months have been filled with celebrations containing salty foods, sugary snacks and alcohol, you may feel a bit sluggish and bloated. These foods can all cause the body to hold onto excess water weight, which contributes to these symptoms. One of the best ways to beat bloat (in addition to scaling down on the celebratory foods) is to add artichoke to your diet. This vegetable helps the liver to produce bile*, which the body uses to break up dietary fat during digestion. By improving the liver’s ability to produce bile, artichoke may help reduce digestive discomfort, gas and bloating*.
Artichoke can be added into salads, pastas, and eaten as a delicious snack all on its own. You can also be sure to get your daily dose of artichoke by adding Swisse’s Ultiboost Liver Detox to your morning routine. The combination of milk thistle, turmeric and artichoke provide a powerful combination to support liver health and function*.
Stir up a skin-rejuvenating smoothie
After spending much of the winter indoors, you may find that your skin is duller than you’d like. As part of your spring tune-up, focusing on fueling your body from within can help to improve the health of your body’s biggest organ — your skin. Boosting your intake of antioxidants can be a helpful way to fight against free radicals that can damage skin and lead to premature aging. Focusing specifically on increasing your intake of vitamin C may support your body’s formulation of collagen — the protein that provides skin with elasticity*.
To give your skin a boost, try blending up this skin-rejuvenating smoothie to start your day. The combination of protein-rich Greek yogurt along with fresh fruits and vegetables provides a powerful punch of antioxidants. Add in Swisse’s Ultiboost Hair Skin Nails liquid, which provides the combination of vitamin C and silica to help boost your body’s production of collagen, and you have a winning combination for healthy, supple skin.
Skin Rejuvenating Smoothie Recipe
Makes 1 serving
Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Serve chilled.
Drink your way to improved energy
During the colder weather months, thirst can be diminished, making it easy to forget to drink enough water. Staying well-hydrated, however, is key to fighting against bloat and fatigue. To ensure you are meeting your body’s daily fluid needs, aim to drink a large glass of water with each meal and snack. When exercising, rehydrate by drinking eight ounces of water for every thirty minutes of movement. On hot days or when your exercise routine is more intense, plan to drink this amount every 20 minutes.
In just four simple steps, you can boost energy, fight bloat, and clean up your body from the inside out for a healthy and happy spring.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
As the go-to expert on all things nutrition and diabetes, Erin Palinski-Wade is one of the most quoted dietitians in the country and a sought-after speaker, spokesperson and media source. She has authored four books including the bestselling 2 Day Diabetes Diet and Belly Fat Diet For Dummies. Erin has appeared on shows including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors and The Early Show and regularly contributes to BravoTV, FoodNetwork, FoxNews and Prevention. She currently juggles her time between freelance writing for publications such as Diabetes Forecast and EverydayHealth.com, motivating audiences as a high-energy keynote speaker, and seeing clients in her private practice in New Jersey.