As much as you may love your fun in the sun, the summer also “cooks up” its own range of health-related considerations.
To help you get prepared, we’ve pulled together a list of summer-specific health tips that should get you and yours well-positioned for a happy and healthy season of sun.
It’s almost time to bust out that bathing suit. You’ve been warned!
Try Natural Insect Repellents this Summer
Nobody enjoys being bitten by mosquitoes and the longer you stay outside, the higher your chances of becoming a victim. If you’re like me, you’re a culinary delight for mosquitoes. I have what’s called “sweet blood” so I’m a perpetual target.
Rather than wearing your share of chemical sprays to repel mosquitoes, why not try something natural? Essential oils like peppermint oil, citronella, thyme, and cinnamon oil have been shown to keep mosquitoes at bay.
Some are even more effective than DEET. You can diffuse essential oils outside or wear your choice of topical essential oil preparations. Either way, why not try it?
Barbecue the Right Way this Summer
Summer barbecues are the highlight of the season. Are you barbecuing the right way?
Cooking meat at very high temperatures can produce cancer-causing compounds. Among them are heterocyclic amines (HCAs).
While this seems scary, there are safe ways to grill. Marinating your meats several hours prior to grilling can minimize HCA formation,5-6 as can grilling your meat in foil.
Removing charred portions of grilled meat can also help to lessen your exposure. Interested in learning more? Check out this blog post: Is Your Cooking Method Harming Your Health?
Be Sun Safe this Summer
While occasional sun exposure is healthy, sun burns aren’t. Make sure to take measures to protect your skin during the hot summer months.
Sunscreens are by far the most popular option, but they aren’t the only option. A fern called Polypodium leucotomos may help.
Research shows taking Polypodium leucotomos orally blocks ultraviolet light, reduces sun-induced injury, and prevents sunburns. Taking this along with using your favorite sunscreen offers double protection.
Try Hydrating with Coconut Water
Coconut water is nature’s antidote for dehydration. In fact it’s even been used intravenously to hydrate patients.
While we don’t encourage you to do this at home, we certainly encourage you to keep coconut water within arm’s reach. It contains healthy electrolytes which the body loses with sweat. And according to a clinical study, it hydrates just as well as water and sports drinks.
Looking for other hydrating drinks? Celery, cucumber, and tomato juice work well, and, most importantly, don’t forget water! Avoid sugary juices, soft drinks, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. They are dehydrating.