It’s time to move away from comfort food! Here are five suggestions for introducing seasonal spring goodness into your diet.
Just as you spring-clean all those dusty, dark corners of your house after the long, cold days of winter, so with the advent of spring it’s time to hit the reset button on your diet. To create a healthier you by cleansing and nourishing your body after the colder months, start looking for ways to change the way you eat. Choose seasonal fruit and vegetables – that helps to reduce food miles too – swap out red meat for fish, and try to seek out healthier snacks. And why not try your hand at growing herbs? It’s much easier than you might think, and they'll add flavour and zest to your cooking.
Buy seasonal spring vegetables
When it comes to vegetables, we should eat as many as we can – and seasonally too, to save food miles. At the start of spring, a crop of colourful, tasty veggies begins to show up at farmers’ markets and in the stores. Rich in fibre, artichokes and asparagus make healthy snacks when dipped in Greek yoghurt and chopped garlic. Leeks make a comforting soup for early spring days, while fresh peas pop with flavour and are rich in iron. Other vegetables to add to your shopping bag in spring include beetroot, radishes and carrots.
Stock up on berries
Rich in fibre and antioxidants, berries are health-enhancing fruits to add to your diet any time of year. They are also known to help regulate blood-sugar levels and thought to reduce cholesterol, while the fact that they taste delicious is just another bonus. Some of the healthiest seasonal options include blueberries, strawberries and raspberries – enjoy them as a breakfast bowl with Greek yoghurt. Goji and açaí berries may not be so easy to get hold of in stores, but they are popular superfoods crammed full of nutrients and can be eaten raw or juiced.
Replace red meat with fish and seafood
A single portion of fish provides low-fat and high-quality protein, essential omega-3 fatty acids and plenty of vitamins. It’s rich in calcium and phosphorus and an excellent source of minerals that all benefit heart health. Give your body an energy boost by replacing red meat with fish or seafood a couple of times per week. Nutrient-filled, sustainable fish and seafood readily available in spring includes sea bass, brill, halibut, salmon, prawns and mussels; make a delicious sea bass ceviche or serve up garlicky mussels marinière.
Keep healthy snacks in the fridge
Turn away from the tempting (but fatty) crisps, chocolate and biscuits that lurk in your kitchen cupboard and have a look to see what you can snack on in the refrigerator. Greek yoghurt, cheese and hummus are all healthy options, as well as superfoods like chia or hemp seeds. Make choosing a wholesome alternative easy by stocking the fridge with sliced fruit, chopped vegetables and salad items like radishes, celery and cucumber. That way, it’s simple to whip up a delicious salad and sprinkle it with chia seeds or herbs from the garden.
Plant a herb garden
Even if you’re living in an apartment without a garden, you don’t need a green thumb to grow fresh herbs in a pot on a sun-lit windowsill. Grow young plants or sow them from seed and within a few weeks you’ll have a constant supply of tasty herbs to perk up your spring dishes. Even if you’re a complete gardening novice, parsley, thyme, mint and sage are really easy to grow. Add chopped mint or parsley to your new potatoes, flavour soups with thyme and add sage to a fish marinade.
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