Ever since Tas competed in the Brissie to the Bay bike ride, he’s been crazy about keeping healthy. So we’ve put together Tas’ top tips for eating healthy this spring.
Summer is coming, which means t-shirts, shorts and swimmers! Even though we know you’ve been good this winter-you’ve been sticking to Tas’ winter workout tips, right?-we thought we’d give you a few more tips on getting healthy this spring, just in case!
Ditch the juices – if you’re finding it hard to kick those last few, stubborn winter kilos, it could have something to do with your food. We all know not to drink toxic soft drinks, but many of us don’t realise that fruit and vegetable juices are just as toxic!
Fruit and veggies are full of the same sugar contained in soft drinks, and lots of it, too-a mango contains 3 percent more sugar than a can of Coke, for instance. This isn’t such a problem if you’re eating these fruits and veggies in whole-form, but if you juice them all of the fibre and antioxidants contained in their flesh is lost, and all you’re left with is the toxic, sugary juices.
Fibre is important; it helps limit your body’s absoroption of sugar-without it, and you might as well have that can of Coke, because all sugar is transported directly to your liver where it’s quickly turned to fat. And fat on your liver is not good; it’s the main cause of insulin resistance, which leads to type 2 diabetes.
If you want a healthy drink, try a blended smoothie, instead. Because a smoothie still contains the pulp and flesh from fruits and veggies, it’s slows the body’s absorption of sugar, and gives your body a much-needed antioxidant boost.
At the moment Tas is just mad about spinach, kale, ginger, lemon and apple smoothies-kale is a super food containing cholesterol-lowering properties, and ginger is great for alleviating asthma, which can be particularly prevalent this time of year.
Watch your fruits and veggies – As we said before, there’s loads of sugar in fruit and veggies, and that’s not normally a problem if you’re eating them in whole-form because they’re also packed with loads of fibre and antioxidants. However, over the last 100 years-or-so, agricultural practices have changed, which has led to a reduction in the nutritional quality of our fruits and veggies.
Basically, the fruits and veggies you’re eating aren’t as nutritious as the fruits and veggies your grandparents were eating, or even the fruits and veggies your grandparents’ grandparents were eating.
Having fewer nutrients in your diet leads to lethargy and other medical conditions, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension and so on—it has even prompted the UN to classify a new kind of malnutrition: multiple micronutrient malnutrition, which is particularly prevalent in the developed world.
But don’t panic! You can get the nutrients back in your diet by:
- Eating organic fruits and veggies where possible; because they’re pesticide-free, the plant has had to work harder to survive, causing it to release antioxidant-creating enzymes to ward off disease.
- Avoiding sweet flavoured or starchy fruits and veggies, which are higher in their sugar content and exponentially less nutritious. Veggies like brussel sprouts, wild rocket and kale-as boring as they may be-are unbelievably good for you.
- Eating the skins of fruit and veggies will ensure you’re not throwing away precious nutrients that are stored in the skin-if you’re cutting up an apple or kiwi for kids, ensure you keep the skins on even if they protest otherwise.
- Steaming veggies rather than boiling them to help retain as many nutrients as possible.