Although some regions are still in the icy grips of winter, the days are slowly getting longer, signaling the start of a bright new season. Traditionally, spring is a time of new beginnings. Whether you are going strong on your New Year's resolutions or adjusting your habits for other reasons this season, a spring detox can help you shed unwanted weight, restore gut health and boost your mood. Here we examine just a few benefits of engaging in some "spring cleaning" in preparation for the warmer months ahead.  

Drop Unwanted Weight Naturally

By eating more naturally and reducing your dependency on processed foods, you will make it easier for your body to burn excess fat. Some natural foods actually contain compounds that help to speed up metabolism, which is the process of converting fat into energy. Additionally, certain constituents in some fruits and vegetables can actually affect the hormones that control appetite. By eating these types of foods, you will feel full for longer periods of time. In addition to eating healthier foods, you can also supplement your diet with a high-quality formula containing ingredients that help promote healthy weight maintenance for further benefits.  

Green Tea

Spring Detox: Recharge, Revitalize and Replenish for Ultimate Energy and Health 2Green tea is recommended for a number of reasons. It's especially helpful in promoting healthy cell growth. It also supports overall health because its antioxidant properties can protect against free radicals and oxidation in the body. It's also a natural stimulant that supports healthy fat metabolism. Due to its diuretic actions, green tea also stimulates urine production, which means it can help alleviate bloating and excessive water retention.

African Mango and Bitter Orange

There is some research to suggest that African mango helps protect against the unhealthy production of fat cells. This can result in less fat storage around the waist. There is also evidence to suggest that African mango may help the symptoms of metabolic syndrome in people with diabetes.

Bitter orange is similar to African mango in that it promotes healthy metabolism, supporting efforts to maintain a healthy weight. Additionally, a dietary supplement that provides bitter orange extract can also help to boost energy levels. Maintaining energy levels is vital for fostering the ambition and enthusiasm needed to stick to a regular exercise schedule, which is essential to better weight control. 

Chromium

A chromium formula is one of the most potent supplements you can take, because it has one of the biggest effects when it comes to supporting healthy metabolism. In addition to metabolic benefits, chromium also helps the body build lean muscle faster, and promotes the utilization of stored fat in the body. As a result of these properties, chromium can contribute to healthy weight maintenance and the maintenance of lean muscle mass. Chromium also supports healthy blood sugar levels in the body. 

Found primarily in brewer's yeast, kidneys and mushrooms, chromium is somewhat difficult to come by in most western diets, which is why taking a chromium supplement is often preferable.

Revitalize Your Gut Microbiome

Your body is filled with bacteria, viruses, fungi and other microbes and, while these microorganisms may be harmful under other circumstances, when present in the proper balance they actually help the digestive system. They thrive in a community called the microbiome, which is located in the small and large intestine, the skin and throughout the body.

The microbiome is essentially an extra organ that helps the body maintain health in a variety of ways. A microbiome that's operating efficiently can help you properly digest fiber, milk and other foods, manages how the immune system functions and even protects the health of the brain.

As you expose your digestive system to harmful foods, such as processed meats, refined sugar and unhealthy fats, the functioning of the microbiome is inhibited. Fortunately, changing your diet can help you to restore your microbiome to a healthier state. Here are just a few ways to restore your gut health for better overall health this spring.

Mix Up Your Plate

By eating a broad range of plant-based foods, you can introduce new types of bacteria into your microbiome. This will make the microbiome stronger, so it can function more efficiently. Fruit, legumes and beans are among the best foods for promoting a healthier microbiome.

Fermented Foods to Fight Disease

Kefir, yogurt and sauerkraut are the more widely known fermented foods, so these items may be easier to find in stores. Eating more of these foods will provide your microbiome with Lactobacilli, bacteria that help the gut rid itself of disease-causing agents.

Ditch the Artificial Sweeteners

Spring Detox: Recharge, Revitalize and Replenish for Ultimate Energy and Health 1If your purpose for drinking diet soft drinks is to lower your blood sugar levels, you're only contributing to the problem. Sweeteners like aspartame promote the growth of enterobacteriaceae, harmful bacteria that boost glucose levels.

Add Prebiotic Foods or Supplements to Your Diet

Prebiotic foods promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the large intestine. Examples of prebiotic foods include bananas, asparagus, oats, artichokes and apples. Supplementing the diet with a formula that contains both prebiotics and probiotics ("friendly" bacteria that help balance the microbiome) is also a wonderful way to boost the health of your microbiome.

Boost Your Mood and Energy Levels With Vitamins and Minerals

In addition to helping you to maintain a healthy weight and improving your gut health, taking a high-quality daily vitamin and mineral supplement can also elevate your mood and give you a boost of energy. According to Dr. Bonnie Kaplan, daily vitamin supplements can boost mood and energy, especially for those suffering from mood disorders. In a study involving a group of 97 adults with mood disorders, Dr. Kaplan's team served the subjects a higher dosage of vitamin supplements. The test subjects exhibited higher cognitive functioning as a result of the increase in nutrients.

While most of us maintain energy levels with unhealthy, artificial stimulants, this practice actually promotes an energy imbalance. By following up a spring detox with a healthier daily routine, you will create more sustainable energy levels. For instance, the energy provided by certain fruits and vegetables is regulated by the body, so the energy stays consistent throughout the day. Conversely, the energy derived from coffee, soft drinks and candy is released in one burst that results in a temporary high. That high is followed by a crash that leaves the individual feeling fatigued by mid-afternoon.

If you resolved to live healthier this year, but are feeling a bit defeated by holiday binges in the early half of the year, there's still time. A little "spring cleaning" now and a decision to live healthier for the remainder of the year can help you improve your health and get in shape. While supplements won't do it all for you, they can give you a needed boost, so you can achieve your nutrition and fitness goals much sooner.