Winter months can be long and harsh, no matter where you live. In the United States this year, the so-called Polar Vortex dumped ice, snow and cold on even the southernmost states, so almost the entire country was feeling the chill.
Add the illnesses and infections common with winter – colds and flu, bronchitis, sore throats and sore joints - sparked by compromised immune systems and the stagnant air of homes and businesses fortressed against the cold, and spring fever becomes more than a little understandable.
Spring: Released from winter’s prison
Come spring – marked by the start of the vernal equinox, when light and dark are in perfect balance – everyone is ready for renewal.
The return of color is often enough to bolster the spirits after the long months of grey skies and snow. But the sun is warm, the blue skies and birds return and the aroma of fresh grass and early spring flowers become an intoxicating awakening of the senses, jolting us into wakefulness like Rip Van Winkle after his 20-year nap.
Tips for a fresh start
We don’t always think about it, but our surroundings play a big role in how we feel.
That’s why so much emphasis is put on spring cleaning. It’s an opportunity to erase the clutter that adds stress – the paperwork you need is so much easier to find when you don’t have to rifle through hundreds of pages - and your favorite spring dress will be right at your fingertips, not hidden behind all the bulky wools of winter.
Other tips for a fresh start:
- With a rebirth, something old is put to rest, while something new is born. For your rebirth, why not “kill” those things that are sapping your energy and dragging you down? Look for a new job if you aren’t happy doing what you’re doing, end relationships that aren’t emotionally fulfilling and work hard to trade negative feelings for positive ones that are steeped in joy.
- If you’re a couch potato, take on an exercise program. You don’t have to hit the gym, but walks after dinner, biking, canoeing on a serene spring lake or hikes through the woods as they wake up can refresh your senses and restore feelings of peace in place of stress while rejuvenating your body and soul.
- Try something new. One way to keep your brain sharp is to continue to challenge it. If you feel stuck in a rut, see spring as a perfect time to sign up for a night class, volunteer for a favorite charity or take up a new hobby. Constant challenges prevent our brains from becoming stagnant and bored.
The seven-year itch
While health experts are divided on the theory – some say it’s true, others say not so much – the cells of our body regenerate themselves at a pace of every seven years, on average.
That’s not to say all the cells in our body regenerate – some don’t at all, and others regenerate at a slower pace – but there is quite a bit of turnover when it comes to our body’s approximately 10 billion cells.
And while they are not regenerating all at the same time – our liver, for example, is only about two years old at most thanks to faster cell turnover, while our skins cells have a turnover rate of about two weeks – for the most part, our body is younger than we think.
As we age, though, that cell turnover slows down, eventually slowing so much that the rate at which cells die outpaces the rate of cell rebirth.
But that doesn’t mean cell damage from aging can’t be influenced. Living a healthy life – and feeding our bodies well as per the adage “we are what we eat” – can make a world of difference.
Improve your body and mind
Winter often leaves us feeling sluggish and sick, in part due to colds and viruses, but also because the foods we traditionally eat in winter are packed with fat – creamy soups, casseroles, gravies – or are grabbed from a drive-through on the way home since darkness arrives so early that even 5 p.m. seems late.
Inevitably, that drive-through diet – combined with short days that make exercising outdoors a seemingly impossible challenge – can cause all kinds of negative feelings.
But spring, the season of renewal, brings with it a wealth of nutrient-rich veggies - asparagus, spinach, baby peas – that can restore our energy by providing feel-good nutrients that are just the thing for sparking a kick-start.
A better body from the inside out
According to Chinese philosophy, if we don’t clean the toxins from our bodies as part of a spring ritual, we run the risk of becoming rigid like the trunk of a tree, trapped in a stagnant self that loses fluidity and flexibility.
That’s especially true for our liver, which is tasked with the big role of helping to remove toxins from our blood. When our liver isn’t working properly, those toxins hang around, generating a sense of general imbalance and sluggishness.
There are several foods that can help boost the health of this busy organ, including:
- Garlic. It helps trigger enzymes that flush out toxins.
- Grapefruit and other citrus fruits. The breakfast staple and its cousins are all packed with antioxidants that target free radicals.
- Leafy greens. Beet greens, kale, dandelion greens and spinach can help neutralize toxins, essentially sharing some of the workload so the liver can catch a break.
- Beets. The ruby-red root of the beet has flavonoids that help the liver function better.
- Avocados. Eating ‘avos’ helps the body produce glutathione, a necessary component required for the liver to filter out harmful substances.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. The Omega-3s in our fish oil supplements can help support the liver’s cleaning process by preventing it from becoming stiff and rigid.
While eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies is an important first step, cleaning the body so it can readily take in all the nutrients those foods offer is an integral part of the process.
Erasing toxic buildup in the body’s digestive tract with a supplement such as Kiwi-Klenz provides the mechanism for taking in those nutrients more efficiently.
Made from whole kiwifruit extract, Kiwi-Klenz provides digestive enzymes to break down food, prebiotics to feed and stimulate the growth of good bacteria (probiotics), phenolics to keep bad bacteria in check to keep the digestive tract healthy and soluble fiber for healthy bowel function.
Kiwi-Klenz essentially helps your digestinve system function well.
It may help support:
- The increase absorption of nutrients from food;
- The potency of nutritional supplements since your body will be better able to utilize the nutrients provided;
- Better digestive health with less gas, bloating and constipation.
Health beyond your plate
Our bodies are constantly changing, so taking good care of ourselves all through our lives can make a big difference.
We know experts recommend that we eat a rainbow of food colors every day, but for even the most diligent, that can be a tricky task.
To fill the void, consider our Total Balance blends, available in versions targeting men’s health and women’s health as well as unisex formulas. Each is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as a wealth of special ingredients that support liver health including turmeric and milk thistle extract.
By treating your body well now – with our three Core Wellness Activators (Total Balance, Kiwi-Klenz and Omega-3 fish oil) - you can help support your whole body so that next winter, when cold and flu season starts again, you’ll be ready.
- Arti Patel, Foods for a Liver: 10 Foods for a Healthy and Clean Liver, Huffington Post, Sept. 13, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/13/foods-for-liver_n_1880715.html
- Nicholas Wade, Your Body is Younger Than You Think, New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/02/science/02cell.html