When summer begins, we enjoy the longer days and plan to make the most of every moment. Summer meals al fresco, the sea breeze and dips in the pool. This is when we have more time to enjoy with our family and friends, as well as to relax and have some me time.
But we shouldn’t neglect our health in summer. Excessive heat and exposure to the sun can affect our skin, eyes, blood pressure and energy levels.
Tips for enjoying a healthy summer:
- STAY HYDRATED
We must drink plenty of water and fluids, even if we’re not thirsty. Especially if we’re more physically active or take part in outdoor sports during the summer. A daily intake of at least two litres of water helps maintain normal physical and cognitive function1. We shouldn’t overindulge in alcoholic or sugary beverages, as they can cause a greater loss of bodily fluids.
- CONTROL FREE RADICALS
Exposure to the sun during the summer holidays makes our body generate more free radicals. These free radicals can affect different parts of our body, such as our skin and eyes for example.
Sun cream is essential for protecting our skin from the sun’s rays throughout the entire year, but especially in summer. Other factors to take into account when using sun cream are:
- Making sure we choose the most suitable cream for our skin type and age;
- Reapplying it throughout the day;
- Rubbing it in and applying it all over the body. Don’t forget the most exposed areas, like your cheeks, back, shoulders and the tops of your feet.
Furthermore, it’s important to consume nutrients with antioxidant properties, like vitamin A or Vitamin B complex, such as niacin or biotin. These vitamins help maintain the skin in normal condition1.
- Protect your eyes
Eyes are particularly sensitive to solar radiation, even more than skin. Ultraviolet rays can cause damage to the different layers of the eyes.
Some carotenes present in vegetables, particularly orange coloured ones, can protect the eyes from solar radiation. Lutein and zeaxanthin are liposoluble carotenoids that are yellow in colour, concentrate in the macula of the eye and can be found in dietary supplements such as 4Life Transfer Factor Vista™.
- EAT FOODS THAT GIVE YOU ENERGY
To enjoy the summer with our energy levels at 100%, we must eat food that gives us sustainable energy. It’s advisable to choose easy summer recipes that keep us hydrated and provide us with energy. Some examples are:
- Fruit: as well as antioxidants, they provide us with energy. Fruit such as blackberries, blueberries, kiwis, peaches and nectarines can be ideal base ingredients for summer dishes. If we combine them with low fat dairy products such as Burgos cheese, cottage cheese or natural yogurt, they can be a great option at breakfast, as a snack or for healthy summer dinners. They can also be made into concentrated fruit juices, perfect for when you’re on the go.
- Vegetables: these are easy options for summer salads, crudités, gazpacho or salmorejo. Also, mixed with fruit in smoothies, they go well together and provide antioxidants, fibre and plenty of water. What’s more, they can be turned into delicious, chilled summer soups.
- Olives: they are a source of healthy fat and also provide salt. Eaten in moderation, they are a tasty snack and, when our blood pressure is low, they can help bring it back to normal.
- Nuts: provide us with long-lasting energy and are very practical when travelling, walking or doing sport. They are great options for adding to salads, yogurts or smoothies.
- PROTECT YOUR MICROBIOTA
Eating out can wreak havoc on our digestive system. Some of the most common symptoms in summer are wind, constipation and, at times, diarrhoea, caused by poor food or water hygiene.
We must always choose dishes that are well cooked, properly refrigerated in shops or restaurants and, depending on where we travel, drink bottled water.
Probiotic supplements are an alternative way of looking after your gut flora.
- Regulation (EU) No 432/2012