Spring Health Tips from a Naturopathic Medicine Approach 🌸

Written by Portland Clinic of Natural Health on March 14, 2023

As we welcome the arrival of Spring, it's time to start thinking about how we can best prepare our bodies for this season of renewal and growth. 🌸 From a Naturopathic Medicine perspective, there are several ways to support our health and well-being during this time of year. From healthy eating to natural remedies, we've got you covered! Read on for tips on how to prepare your body for the season of renewal and growth ::

1. Healthy Diet: First and foremost, it's important to prioritize a healthy diet. With the arrival of fresh produce and warmer weather, Spring is the perfect time to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your meals. Aim for a colorful plate that includes plenty of leafy greens, berries, and other seasonal produce. Try to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Including healthy fats in your meals is an essential component as well: healthy fats are crucial for maintaining optimal health as they provide energy, support brain function, regulate hormones, and promote healthy skin and hair. Some examples of healthy fats to include in your diet are:

  • Avocado - Avocado is a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats, which have been shown to improve cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. πŸ₯‘

  • Nuts & Seeds - Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Examples include almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flax seeds.

  • Fatty Fish - Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, improve heart health, and support brain function. 🐟

  • Olive Oil - Olive oil is a good source of healthy monounsaturated fats and has been associated with numerous health benefits, including improved heart health and reduced risk of chronic disease.

  • Coconut Oil - Coconut oil is a unique source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are easily metabolized and can provide a quick source of energy for the body. πŸ₯₯

Including these healthy fats in your diet can be as simple as adding avocado to your morning smoothie, snacking on a handful of nuts and seeds, or swapping out vegetable oil for olive or coconut oil in your cooking.

Three Popular Diets to Consider:

  • Vegan Diet - A vegan diet is based on plant-based foods and excludes all animal products, including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. When well-planned, a vegan diet can provide all the necessary nutrients for optimal health, including protein, iron, calcium, and vitamin B12. It may also offer benefits such as lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

  • Paleo Diet - The paleo diet emphasizes foods that were commonly eaten during the Paleolithic era, such as meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. It excludes processed foods, dairy products, grains, and legumes. Some people find that a paleo diet can help with weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and reduced inflammation, but it may be challenging to follow in the long term and may not provide all the necessary nutrients.

  • Keto Diet - A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that is designed to shift the body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat for fuel instead of glucose. The diet typically includes foods such as meat, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats, and excludes high-carbohydrate foods such as grains, sugar, and fruit. A keto diet may offer benefits such as improved blood sugar control, weight loss, and reduced inflammation, but it can be difficult to follow and may not be suitable for everyone.

It's important to note that while these diets may offer benefits for some individuals, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating. It's important to prioritize a varied and balanced diet that includes a wide range of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats, while also taking into account individual dietary restrictions, preferences, and health concerns.

Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider (one of our NDs!) or registered dietitian (Kassy, our Dietician πŸ‰) can be a helpful step in developing a personalized approach to healthy eating.Β 

2. Exercise: In addition to a healthy diet, Spring is also a great time to get outside and exercise. Take advantage of the longer days and warmer weather by going for a walk, bike ride, or run. 🚴 Exercise is not only good for your physical health but also your mental health, helping to reduce stress and improve mood.

Three Popular Exercise Options:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) - HIIT involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. This type of workout can be done using bodyweight exercises, cardio equipment, or a combination of both. HIIT is an efficient way to burn calories, improve cardiovascular health, and increase muscle strength and endurance.

  • Yoga - Yoga is a mind-body practice that involves physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditation. Practicing yoga can improve flexibility, balance, and strength, as well as reduce stress and improve mental clarity. Yoga can be done indoors or outdoors and can be adapted to suit all fitness levels. πŸ§˜πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

  • Swimming - Swimming is a low-impact exercise that is gentle on the joints and can provide a full-body workout. Swimming can improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength and endurance, and flexibility. It can also be a refreshing way to cool off on a warm Spring day.

These types of exercise can be done individually or in combination with each other to provide a varied and well-rounded fitness routine. It's important to choose exercises that you enjoy and that fit your fitness level and goals. Incorporating regular physical activity into your routine can have numerous benefits for overall health and wellbeing.

Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider (Dr. Amber, our ND who specializes in Sports Medicine πŸƒπŸ½β€β™€οΈ) can be a helpful step in developing a personalized approach to exercise.Β 

3. Sleep: Another important aspect of Spring health is to prioritize sleep. With the changing season and longer days, it can be tempting to stay up later and sacrifice sleep. However, getting enough rest is crucial for maintaining a healthy immune system and keeping energy levels high. Try to establish a consistent sleep schedule, and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. πŸ’€

Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are invisible fields of energy that are emitted by electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, and Wi-Fi routers. While there is still much research to be done on the potential health effects of EMFs, some people believe that exposure to high levels of EMFs may contribute to health problems such as insomnia, headaches, and fatigue.

Tips for Lowering EMF Exposure:

  • Limit your use of electronic devices - Try to limit the amount of time you spend on your cell phone or computer, and take breaks from screens throughout the day. πŸ“΅

  • Use wired connections - Whenever possible, use wired connections such as Ethernet cables rather than Wi-Fi to reduce your exposure to wireless radiation.

  • Keep devices away from your body - Avoid carrying your cell phone in your pocket or holding it close to your head, and use speakerphone or a headset instead.

  • Create an EMF-free bedroom - Keep electronic devices out of the bedroom or at least a few feet away from your bed, and consider using an EMF-blocking device such as a Faraday canopy or shield. πŸ›Œ

Prioritizing sleep is important for overall health and wellbeing, and reducing exposure to EMFs is one way to support better sleep quality. While it may not be possible to eliminate all sources of EMFs from our daily lives, taking these steps can help to reduce our overall exposure and promote better health.

Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider (Dr. Ben, our ND who specializes in EMF exposure 🌐) can be a helpful step in developing a personalized approach to optimized sleep. 

4. Detoxification: Finally, Spring is a time to detoxify and cleanse the body. Consider incorporating natural remedies such as herbal teas, probiotics, and digestive enzymes into your routine to support your body's natural detoxification processes. πŸ«–You may also want to try a cleanse or fast to give your body a break and reset your system.

Two Naturopathic Modalities to Consider:

  • Infrared Sauna - Infrared saunas use infrared light to heat the body from the inside out, which can help to stimulate sweating and promote the elimination of toxins through the skin. Some potential benefits of using an infrared sauna include improved cardiovascular health, pain relief, and improved immune function.

  • Constitutional Hydrotherapy - Constitutional hydrotherapy is a type of therapy that involves alternating hot and cold compresses applied to the abdomen and back, along with a gentle electrical current. This therapy can help to stimulate the organs of elimination (such as the liver and kidneys) and promote the removal of toxins from the body. Constitutional hydrotherapy can also help to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and support the immune system.

Both infrared sauna and constitutional hydrotherapy can be effective ways to support the body's natural detoxification processes and promote overall health and wellbeing. However, it's important to note that these therapies may not be appropriate for everyone.

Consulting with a qualified healthcare provider (Dr. Nik, our ND who specializes in Constitutional Hydrotherapy πŸ’§) can be a helpful step in developing a personalized approach to optimized sleep.Β 

β€”β€”β€”

Naturopathic Medicine offers a holistic approach to health that can be crucially beneficial. As always, it's important to consult with a qualified healthcare provider (such as one of our NDs!) before starting any new health regimen.

Wishing you a healthy and happy Spring season!

β€” The Portland Clinic of Natural Health Team

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