Each change of season brings new foods, experiences and different ways to connect to nature. Summer is the perfect time to get outdoors and enjoy the longer days. The following tips will help you to stay healthy, hydrated and happy.
1. Stay hydrated
In the hot summer months we are at greater risk of dehydration due to the increased temperatures and time spent outdoors in the sun. At times our body needs to work hard to stay cool and sweating leads to further water loss.
Look out for any signs of dehydration, which can include:
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Mild constipation
- Decreased urine output
- Fatigue or tiredness
Our body depends on water for a range of vital functions — flushing out toxins, removing waste, effective digestion, good circulation and respiratory health. To remain healthy during summer it is more important than ever to remain well hydrated.
Easy ways to stay well hydrated:
- Prepare infused waters and keep them in the fridge. You can add herbs, fruits and vegetables to the water. Try cucumbers, lemon, berries, mint, basil, limes, citrus fruits, or any combination of these!
- Buy an eco reusuable water bottle for every member of the family and take your own water with you everywhere.
- Drink hydrating herbal teas, particularly teas that support the liver and kidneys— milk thistle, dandelion.
- Add fresh vegetable juices to your diet
- Make homemade popsicles for the family using a base of coconut water mixed with your favourite fruit blends.
2. Dry skin brush
Dry skin brushing is an easy way to prepare and support your skin during the summer months. It is a good idea to buy a natural-bristled long handle brush and spend 10 minutes brushing your skin before you have a shower. Click here for instructions and more information.
External benefits of dry skin brushing:
- Exfoliates the skin leaving it soft and supple
- Helps to remove cellulite
- Tightens and rejuvenates the skin
- Supports increased muscle tone by stimulating nerve endings
- Removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores
- Increases circulation to the skin
However, the benefits don’t just end there. Dry skin brushing profoundly supports our internal health and this will aid overall body health and your hydration levels in summer.
Internal benefits of dry skin brushing:
- Stimulates the lymphatic system to release toxins and remove them from the body via the lymph nodes.
- Supports the immune system by increasing the production of antibodies
- Excretes toxins from the body which supports kidney function
Dry skin brushing allows for easy detoxification and it supports overall body health, which leads to optimal hydration.
3. Eat skin-protective foods
There are certain foods that can help to protect our skin from UV damage. These foods contain antioxidants and plant compounds that naturally protect the plant itself from photo damage and the good news is, that these powerful plant compounds can do the same for our skin.
However, please note that eating skin-protective foods is a support only, they don’t negate the proper use of sunscreen, protective clothing and spending time in the shade during peak hours.
Our top pick of skin-protective foods
- Cooked tomatoes
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
- Colorful berries
4. Use organic sunscreen
We recommend choosing an organic sunscreen that uses zinc oxide as the active ingredient, and to choose a brand that uses a safe SPF rating, for example, no greater than SPF50.
Organic sunscreens use active mineral ingredients such titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which sit on the top skin layer to deflect UV rays away from the skin. They work immediately and are not absorbed into the skin.
Zinc oxide protects against the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays and it is considered to be the safest ingredient to use on babies and children.
The EWG (Environmental Working Group) provides a guide to sunscreens, rating them in terms of safety and effectiveness.
Sunscreen is not your only means of protection. You can choose to wear sun-safe clothing and swimwear, stay in the shade (with protection) and stay out of the sun during peak hours in summer.
5. Connect to nature
The summer months give us ample opportunity to get out in nature and reap the health benefits of spending time outdoors. As we have already mentioned, stay safe in the sun when outdoors by using appropriate clothing, sunscreen and staying in the shade when necessary (try a walk in a shady forest!).
Health benefits of spending time outdoors:
- Swimming in the ocean — increases magnesium and mineral salt levels, boosts the immune system, improves circulation.
- Walking barefoot on the soil, grass or sand — helps you to draw electrons from the earth to improve heart health, reduce stress and boost the immune system.
- Looking at a horizon — improves your long distance eyesight
- Safe sun exposure — increases vitamin D levels and improves your mood
- Physical activity outdoors — improves the metabolism, cardiovascular system, increases circulation and supports detoxification.
- Forest bathing — enhanced wellbeing and relaxation, supports immune health
Most of all, enjoy the summer with your friends and family!