Five Tips to Spring into Wellness

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

In case you missed the news, yesterday was the first day of Spring. Temperatures dipped below freezing last night, making this fact hard to believe. But before we know it, the heat of Summer in the South will be upon us.

Traditionally, Spring is a season of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection, and growth. No matter where you are in your cancer journey, I challenge you to Spring forward and embrace this season by making some changes in your wellness routine.

What can you do to rejuvenate?

    Georgia Cancer Specialists

  • Eat local. Choose fresh foods that come from plants, like fruits and vegetables. Eat foods that are grown seasonally and locally by visiting your local farmer’s market. Local fresh produce – organic or not – will taste better and be full of cancer-fighting nutrients!
  • Eat your greens. If you think you don’t like leafy greens, try again. On your next grocery or farmer’s market trip, pick up one bunch of a leafy green you have never tasted before. Try dandelion greens, kale, Swiss chard, endive, spinach, collards, red or green mustard greens, or watercress. You can even steam the greens of beets! Greens are full of vitamin A, vitamin K and fiber. Caution: If you are taking Coumadin, or warfarin, talk with your healthcare team before adding more greens.
  • Take your probiotics. Foods such as miso, sauerkraut, tempeh, yogurt, and kefir add important probiotics (or good bacteria) to aid digestion and reduce inflammation. I like to get mine through a combination of Greek yogurt with fresh berries and a probiotic capsule called Culturelle once daily. Caution: If you are currently on a cancer treatment that may lower your white blood cell count, talk with your healthcare team about adding probiotics.
  • Eat foods to fight seasonal allergies. Along with Spring in Georgia comes the annual dusting of yellow powder, causing watery eyes, sneezing, congestionm and inflammation. Try adding these foods:
    1. Warm fluids. Try sipping tea or chicken soup to help break up congestion.
    2. Fish oils. Omega-3 fatty acids–in tuna, salmon, and mackerel–could lower the risk of developing allergies. Study results are mixed, but it can’t hurt to try.
    3. Yogurt. Some studies show that probiotics may reduce allergy symptoms in children. The jury is still out on this one, but you may get other health benefits even if it doesn’t help your allergy symptoms.
    4. Honey. I have a few friends who believe in taking a teaspoon of local honey to ease fall and spring allergies. Studies haven’t shown any benefit; however, it probably won’t hurt.
  • Move more. If you don’t have any medical restrictions, step up your exercise routine. Whether you enjoy walking, running, biking, hiking, yoga, or swimming, add an extra 10 minutes to each workout, increase your intensity with an incline or hills or add one more workout per week to your routine. Always talk with your physician if you are new to exercise before starting a new program.

What are you doing to rejuvenate this Spring? Share your ideas!

Image courtesy of Simon Howden /


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