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Fresh Beginnings: Spring Nutrition and Outdoor Health

As winter gradually gives way to spring, there’s a noticeable shift in the atmosphere. With longer days and milder temperatures, spring brings a sense of rejuvenation and vitality. In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as the significance of sunlight and outdoor activities for our well-being. Let’s take a closer look at how embracing the changing seasons can contribute to a healthier and more vibrant lifestyle.

Embracing Seasonal Produce

Spring heralds the arrival of a cornucopia of seasonal fruits and vegetables, each offering a unique array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Let’s take a closer look at some of the nutritional powerhouses that grace our plates during this time of year:

  1. Leafy Greens: Spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard thrive in the spring, offering a powerhouse of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as folate and fiber. Incorporating these nutrient-packed greens into your meals can help support immune function, promote healthy digestion, and maintain optimal bone health.
  2. Berries: From sweet strawberries to tart raspberries, spring is synonymous with an abundance of fresh berries. Rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids and anthocyanins, berries offer potent anti-inflammatory properties and may help protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
  3. Asparagus: With its delicate flavor and slender spears, asparagus is a quintessential spring vegetable. High in folate, vitamin K, and antioxidants like glutathione, asparagus supports healthy cell function, aids in blood clotting, and may help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
  4. Radishes: Crisp and peppery, radishes add a burst of flavor to springtime salads and snacks. Packed with vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, radishes promote hydration and support digestive health. Incorporate them into sandwiches, tacos, or grain bowls for a crunchy kick.
  5. Artichokes: While they may seem intimidating, artichokes are worth the effort with their meaty texture and nutty flavor. High in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants such as quercetin and silymarin, artichokes promote digestive health and may help lower cholesterol levels.

Maximizing Nutritional Benefits

When it comes to harnessing the full potential of spring produce, a proactive approach to nutrition is key. By understanding the unique nutritional profiles of seasonal fruits and vegetables and implementing strategic meal planning techniques, you can ensure that you’re nourishing your body with the essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it craves.

To get the most out of your spring produce, consider the following tips:

  1. Eat a Rainbow: Aim to include a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables in your meals to ensure you’re getting a wide range of nutrients. Different colors often signify different phytonutrients, each offering unique health benefits.
  2. Prioritize Freshness: Opt for locally grown and organic produce whenever possible to maximize freshness and nutritional quality. Visit farmer’s markets to access the freshest seasonal produce straight from the farm.
  3. Experiment with Preparation Methods: Get creative in the kitchen by trying different cooking techniques and flavor combinations. Whether you roast, grill, steam, or eat your produce raw, there are countless ways to highlight the natural flavors of springtime ingredients.
  4. Pair with Protein and Whole Grains: Balance your meals by combining seasonal fruits and vegetables with lean proteins and whole grains. This combination provides a satisfying and nutrient-dense meal that will keep you feeling full and energized.

Getting Sunlight and Spending Time Outside

As the days grow longer and the sun shines brighter, spring offers the perfect opportunity to soak up some much-needed sunlight and enjoy the great outdoors. Spending time outside not only lifts our spirits but also provides a host of health benefits:

  1. Vitamin D Synthesis: Sunlight is our body’s primary source of vitamin D, a crucial nutrient that supports bone health, immune function, and mood regulation. Just 10 to 15 minutes of sun exposure a few times a week can help ensure adequate vitamin D levels. However, while sunlight is essential for our health, it’s important to practice sun safety to protect our skin from harmful UV rays. Wear sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, protective clothing, and sunglasses whenever you’re outside, especially during peak sun hours.
  2. Mood Enhancement: Sunlight stimulates the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and promotes feelings of well-being. Spending time outdoors can help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety and improve overall mental health. In general, as the weather gets nicer, take the time to appreciate the beauty of springtime landscapes and the wonders of the natural world. Whether you’re admiring blooming flowers, listening to birdsong, or feeling the warmth of the sun on your skin, allow yourself to fully immerse in the sights, sounds, and sensations of the outdoors.
  3. Stress Reduction: Connecting with nature has been shown to reduce stress levels and promote relaxation. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll in the park, a picnic in the sunshine, or simply lounging in your backyard, spending time outside can help calm the mind. Taking time to relax and unwind will help reduce stress levels and promote overall well-being.
  4. Physical Activity: Outdoor activities such as walking, jogging, cycling, or playing sports provide an enjoyable way to stay active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The natural beauty of springtime landscapes can inspire us to move our bodies and engage in physical activity without even realizing it. Aim to spend at least 30 minutes to an hour outside each day to reap the benefits of sunlight and fresh air.

Summing It Up

As we transition from the chill of winter to the warmth of spring, let’s seize the opportunity to enhance our overall well-being. By incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into our meals, engaging in outdoor activities, and embracing mindfulness practices, we can cultivate a sense of vitality and connection with the world around us.

The arrival of spring not only brings a bounty of seasonal produce but also offers a chance to rejuvenate our bodies and minds. Spending time outdoors, whether basking in the sunshine or taking a leisurely stroll through nature, allows us to nourish our spirits and embrace the beauty of renewal in the new season.

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INDICATION
Lomaira™ (phentermine hydrochloride USP) 8 mg tablets, CIV is a prescription medicine used for a short period of time (a few weeks) for weight reduction and should be used together with regular exercise and a reduced-calorie diet. Lomaira is for adults with an initial BMI* of 30 or more (obese) or 27 or more (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical condition such as controlled high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. The limited usefulness of this drug class (anorectics), including Lomaira, should be measured against possible risk factors inherent in their use.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
Don’t take Lomaira™ if you have a history of cardiovascular disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, stroke, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure); are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor drug (MAOI) within the past 14 days; have overactive thyroid, glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes), agitation or a history of drug abuse; are pregnant, nursing, or allergic to the sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine or any of the ingredients in Lomaira.

Taking phentermine with other drugs for weight loss is not recommended. Primary pulmonary hypertension (PPH), a rare fatal lung disease, has been reported in patients who had taken a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine for weight loss. The possible association between phentermine use alone and PPH cannot be ruled out. Patients should report immediately if they experience any decrease in the amount of exercise that they can normally tolerate, shortness of breath, chest or heart pain, fainting or swelling in the lower legs.

Serious heart valve problems or disease have been reported in patients taking a combination of phentermine and fenfluramine or dexfenfluramine for weight loss. The possible role of phentermine has not been established, therefore the possibility of an association between heart valve disease and the use of phentermine alone cannot be ruled out.

If your body becomes adjusted to the maximum dose of phentermine so that its effects are experienced less strongly, the maximum dose should not be exceeded in an attempt to increase the effect.

Caution is advised when engaging in potentially hazardous activity such as driving or operating machinery while taking phentermine. Phentermine has the potential to be abused. Keep Lomaira in a safe place to prevent theft, accidental overdose, misuse or abuse. Using alcohol with phentermine may result in an adverse drug reaction.

Phentermine can cause an increase in blood pressure. Tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure, even if it’s mild. If you are taking medicines for type 2 diabetes, your doctor may have to adjust these medicines while taking phentermine.

Some side effects of phentermine that have been reported include pulmonary hypertension, valvular heart disease, palpitations, increased heart rate or blood pressure, insomnia, restlessness, dry mouth, diarrhea, constipation and changes in sexual drive. These are not all of the potential side effects of phentermine. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

To report negative side effects of prescription drugs, contact FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 or visit www.fda.gov/medwatch.

*Body Mass Index (BMI) measures the amount of fat in the body based on height and weight. BMI is measured in kg/m2.

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IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION Don’t take Lomaira™ if you have a history of cardiovascular disease (e.g., coronary artery disease, stroke, arrhythmias, congestive heart failure or uncontrolled high blood pressure); are taking or have taken a monoamine oxidase inhibitor drug (MAOI) within the past 14 days; have overactive thyroid, glaucoma (increased pressure in the eyes), agitation or a history of drug abuse; are pregnant, nursing, or allergic to the sympathomimetic amines such as phentermine or any of the ingredients in Lomaira.