From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, March 23, 1939

What to Eat and Why

The gap between winter and spring has always been recognized as a trying period. Work seems a burden, tempers are short, appetites are poor, and little enjoyment is derived from meals.

Just as the daily tide of human vitality is at a low ebb during the hours before dawn, so does the annual tide of health reach a low ebb in the weeks that mark the end of winter and the official beginning of spring.

Bodily reserves have been gradually depleted until many children and adults suffer from lassitude and fatigue that cannot be dispelled merely by getting a good night’s sleep. The Best Spring Tonic

A generation ago it was believed that sulphur and molasses and sassafras tea would overcome springtime debility. Homemakers dosed their families with a variety of so-called tonics in a frantic effort to put color into pale cheeks, to soothe irritable nerves, to overcome that tired feeling.

We know today why their efforts were met with little success, for we have learned what they could not know – that the best possible tonic is a carefully chosen diet rich in minerals and vitamins.

How lucky we are today! For science has taught us what we should eat to help increase pep and vitality, and build rich red blood. Modern methods of transportation, refrigeration, food preservation, and packaging, have made the necessary foods easily available. It merely remains for the homemaker to acquaint herself with the nutritional needs of her family. Eat More Greens

Right now it is most important to provide large amounts of dandelion greens, spinach, kale, chard, watercress, lettuce, and green cabbage. Serve a cooked green vegetable at one meal each day and a generous green salad at another. Plenty of Bulk Required

There is still another reason why green vegetables and fruits should be consumed in liberal quantities. These foods, along with whole grain cereals, provide an abundance of bulk or cellulose which is necessary to help promote regularity. They tend to offset the effects of a too highly concentrated winter diet. Very often that feeling of lassitude, mistakenly called spring fever, can be overcome by adding to the diet a larger proportion of these naturally laxative foods. Exercise and Fresh Air

Two more splendid antidotes for the let-down feeling that comes at this season are moderate exercise and fresh air. The proper use of the muscular system is important to health and vitality, yet many people go through the winter taking far too little exercise.

In general, you will eat better, sleep better, feel more alert, and, at the same time, more relaxed, if you make a point of getting out into the open every day. Sleep, sunshine, fresh air, and the right food–these are Nature’s tonics!