The concept of spring cleaning is not a new one: with the warmer weather comes a seemingly universal urge to spruce nearly every aspect of your life. This generally refers to tidying a home or rejuvenating a wardrobe, but the idea of starting fresh with your habits can extend to nutrition, as well. It’s easy to fall into familiar patterns throughout the winter, opting for warm and cozy food to distract from the chill—but the arrival of spring is a great time to freshen things up.
Not sure where to start? Registered dietitian Huma Chaudhry, R.D., of Dose of Nutrition breaks down the six changes you can employ to feel your best as you enter the new season—and make some tasty meals in the process!
1. Update your grocery list with spring produce.
Grocery shopping according to the season is not only great for crafting tasty meals, but it can also enhance the nutritional value of your dishes. “Seasonal produce can be rich in nutrients and flavor since they are harvested during their peak time,” explains Chaudhry. “Springtime offers a variety of colorful produce like apricots, strawberries, and arugula that add fiber and color to your plate.” The more diverse your plate is, the more nutrient-packed it’s likely to be.
2. Flavor your meals with herbs.
The quickest way to boost the flavor profile of any boring dish is by sprinkling herbs into the mix. If you have a green thumb, setting up an herb garden in your kitchen is a fun opportunity to produce your own seasonings for tastier, more micronutrient-rich meals. “Fresh herbs are filled with antioxidants and are a great way to add natural flavor to your dishes or drinks,” says Chaudhry. “I love adding fresh cilantro to quinoa salads or infusing basil in spring-themed drinks.” Even the smallest changes can go a long way in spicing up your diet.
3. Try a veggie supplement.
Even as you add more spring vegetables to your diet, it never hurts to sneak in even more nutrients via a veggie supplement.
The next time you’re blending up a fresh (and seasonal) smoothie, or mixing together a salad, top it off with a tablespoon of mbg’s organic veggies+ to support digestion, get a good source of fiber, and even help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.*
4. Up your hydration game.
You’ve heard it time and time again: staying hydrated is essential, especially as the weather starts to heat up. “Drinking water comes with many benefits like regulating body temperature and helping our bodies get rid of waste. For those who find it challenging to hydrate well, infusing water with cucumbers, herbs, and citrus fruits can make it more enjoyable,” suggests Chaudhry. You can also try these genius tricks for making your water even more hydrating.
5. Consider adding plant proteins.
You don’t have to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet to enjoy plant-based protein options, and adding more bean, lentil, tofu and tempeh dishes into your week can diversify your diet and even offer an array of unique nutrients. “Celebrating meatless Mondays or vegetarian Wednesdays can be an enjoyable way to encourage weekly plant protein intake in your household,” says Chaudhry, “They can also be a great way to increase fiber,” which she shares is a heart-healthy nutrient to pay attention to throughout life. If you’ve been considering making the switch to a more plant-based way of eating, there’s no time like the spring with fresh salads and stir fry recipes galore.
6. Upgrade your pantry with multi-purpose whole grains.
Turning your attention to the basic staples in your pantry is another excellent step on your nutrition spring cleaning to-do list. “Stocking the pantry with versatile whole grains like oats, quinoa, and microwavable brown rice can come in handy for several weekly recipes,” says Chaudhry. “From overnight oats to spring veggie stir fried rice, these grains can be an accessible way to add fiber and B vitamins to your day.”
There’s something satisfying about clearing out any unwanted energy or clutter from the winter, and ushering in a lighter and healthier season. Extending that mindset to your nutrition choices can help you feel renewed and rejuvenated—so sort through that fridge and enjoy some delightful produce and herbs this spring.