Summer is in full force and what a beautiful summer it has been so far! There are so many great things about the summertime, such as: being outdoors, BBQs, splash pads and the sun. Although there is so much to be excited about, you want to ensure you are doing everything possible to make it a memorable and happy summer. Here are some tips on having a wonderful summer, naturally!
- Coconut water: Nature’s perfect electrolyte! On extra hot days or prolonged adventures outside, you will likely be getting your sweat on, so you need to ensure that you are replenishing the lost electrolytes. There are so many electrolyte / sport drinks available, but often times, they are unnecessarily high in refined sugar and artificial food colourings. A great way to prevent sunstroke from developing is to ensure you are replenishing your electrolytes, especially while playing sports outside. Coconut water is the perfect solution!
- Natural Vitamin D: It is becoming very prevalent, especially in our northern location, to supplement vitamin D to prevent deficiencies. But when the sun is shining we should take advantage of getting our daily dose naturally! So how much is too much? Depending on your pigmentation, the amount of direct sunlight you require will vary. If very fair, you likely only need a few minutes (3-5 minutes). Medium to dark skin requires anywhere from 15-20 minutes of sun daily or longer without sunscreen. Remember that when wearing sunscreen you are blocking the body’s ability to naturally produce vitamin D.
- Sun protection: After you have got your daily dose of vitamin D, it is very important to protect your skin with a natural and effective sunscreen. Excessive sun exposure does put you at higher risk of developing skin cancer – this is well known and that’s why I think we rarely ever expose our skin to sunlight without protection. This has caused a swing in the opposite direction and now we are seeing a large part of the population with vitamin D deficiency as a result. Just like everything else in life, we need to strike a balance. My favorite natural sunscreens are by Substance, Weleda and Green Beaver. Don’t forget that a big hat or clothing provides adequate protection from the sun.
- Bug off: Citronella candles and essential oil are very effective at keeping mosquitoes away. Keep those candles stocked for your cottage or backyard and keep some essential oils on hand for when you go to the park or go camping. Lemon scent is also a natural bug repellant so keeping boiled lemon water near- by can be helpful. Another great way to protect yourself from those mighty little pests is by using screened tents around your picnic table and on your patio.
- Cooling foods: What better way to beat the heat than by eating foods that help you feel cool internally. Just like when you crave a hot soup in the winter, nothing is more refreshing then something chilly in the summertime. This style of seasonal eating ensures your body stays in balance according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. My favorite cool foods are watermelon, salads, sprouts, cucumbers, apples, lemons & limes.
Now, get outside and play!
In great health & happiness,
Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to inspire health through educating, motivating and empowering people. She has a family based practice out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.
Contact Dr. Michelle today to book your 15 minute complimentary consult.