The days are getting longer, the first green sprouts of spring are showing, and the sun has real warmth for what feels like the first time in forever. Winter is all about being cozy and comfortable – but now it’s time to get out there and explore the bounty of nature in all its glory. Forget parkas and mittens, it’s time to break out the beachwear!
Summer is all about enjoying the occasional classic treat – ice cream cone, anyone? – but don’t forget to treat your body to what it’s really craving – bountiful salads, lots of fresh fruit and nuts, whole grains and other healthy food choices.
When you give your body the right fuel, you’ll feel energized inside and out, and ready to tackle all the adventure that summer brings! Here are a few tips for making the most of the season:
- Healthy treats: Serve a healthy spread like hummus, yogurt with herbs or fresh salsa and pair with naan bread and toasted pita – and don’t forget the veggies! Zucchini, cucumber, broccoli florets, baby carrots, red, orange and yellow peppers are all great choices.
- Portion size: Using smaller plates and utensils tricks our brains into thinking we’re eating big portions. It’s true! An analysis that included more than 50 separate studies found that varying the size of the plate or bowl had a significant effect on the amount of food the subjects consumed.1 Scary fact: doubling plate size can increase the amount of food you eat by over 40%!2
- Meal timing: Turns out your parents were on to something with regular meal times – a recent study found that the timing of when you eat can affect how your body metabolizes food.1 If you need more convincing, consider this: eating at regular times can help minimize high blood pressure and cholesterol, a finding endorsed by the American Heart Association.3
- Probiotics: we’re conditioned to avoid anything with the word ‘bacteria’ but in this case, bacteria are our friends – it’s believed can they play a vital role in helping support gastrointestinal health and promoting a favorable gut flora. A variety of other factors such as stress, rich foods and varying meal times, can also affect our digestive system adversely.
What should I look for when choosing a probiotic?
- Storage: If you’re an “on-the-go” person – then a shelf stable probiotic that doesn’t require refrigeration may be your best choice.
- Guaranteed Potency: Probiotics are measured with “colony forming units” or “CFU” for short. So, look for products that have a CFU count that meets your needs.
- Strains: Does the probiotic include researched strains? Some examples of researched strains are Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM or Bifidobacterium Bl-04.
- Capsule: What type of capsule is used? Using a delayed release capsule can help ensure that the healthy bacteria get past the stomach and down to where you need them for maximum gastrointestinal effect.
- Gluten & Dairy: Not all capsules are gluten and dairy free. Check the label before purchase to ensure your probiotics meet your dietary tolerances.
The Primadophilus Optima line of probiotics is the “go-to” for the on-the-go probiotic user. The Optima 50 Billion Digestive Health, Optima 50 Billion Women’s, and Optima 50 Billion 50+ probiotics are shelf stable (no refrigeration required), provide guaranteed potency to expiry, and include researched healthy bacterial strains like NCFM and Bl-04. All products feature a delayed release capsule and are gluten and dairy-free.
1 Holden SS, Zlatevska N, Dubelaar C. Whether smaller plates reduce consumption depends on who’s serving and who’s looking: a meta-analysis. J Assoc Consum Res. 2016;1(1):134–46.
2 Kahleova, H., Lloren, J.I., Mashchak, A., Hill, M. and Fraser, G.E. (2017). Meal Frequency and Timing are Associated with Changes in Body Mass Index in Adventist Healthy Study 2. The Journal of Nutrition.
3 St-Onge, M-P., Ard, J., Baskin, M.L., Chiuve, S.E., Johnson, H.M., Kris-Etherton, P. and Varady, K. (2017). Meal Timing and Frequency: Implications for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association, Circulation: AHA Scientific Statement.