Good nutrition is crucial to weight management and maintaining good health, but do you know that a healthy diet can also soothe certain summertime woes? Sunlight, in moderation, offers several health benefits such as production of vitamin D in the body, which in turn supports bone health, enhances immunity, regulates blood pressure, and promotes well being. However, over-exposure to the sunlight can cause dry skin and hair, eye damage, and other ailments.
Slathering on sunscreen might block the UV rays, but you should know that a nutritious diet is also a critical element in your sun-protection routine. Adding the right foods to add to your daily diet can prevent or ease the following common summertime woes:
- Muscle cramps: Outdoor exercises or too many games in summer can result in overexertion, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance. This can cause muscle cramps. Drink plenty of water and restock electrolytes with sports drinks that contain sodium, calcium, and potassium. Include potassium-rich foods such bananas, raisins, potatoes, and spinach, in your diet.
- Dry or irritated skin: In summer, our skin tends to be less supple because we sweat more. Moreover, even as you enjoy the sea and swimming pools, you should know that the salt and chlorine in water can have a drying effect which can dry out and damage your skin. Sunburns and bug bites also sabotage healthy skin.
- Eating nutritious foods that are rich in antioxidants, Vit C, and protein such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds can heal damaged skin. Drinking lots of water can prevent dehydration and help keep skin dryness at bay. Consume calcium-rich low-fat dairy products like skimmed milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese is important to replace calcium loss though sweating.
- Parched hair: Overexposure to the sun rays, chlorine water in swimming pools, and humidity can wreak havoc on your hair, causing limp hair, hair fall, dry or rough hair and sunburn on scalps. A healthy diet with proper ingredients that stimulate healthy hair growth is important. For shiny and lustrous hair and healthy skin, make sure that your diet supplies vital vitamins and nutrients such as keratin, vitamin B-5, calcium, zinc and vitamin B-8.
- Yeast infections: Many women find summer as the most common season for yeast infections. Sitting around in a wet bathing suit provides a perfect environment for yeast overgrowth. An ideal way to ward off yeast infections is consuming more probiotics. Avoid sugary foods because yeast thrives off sugar, especially processed and simple sugars, as well as grains and other glutinous foods. Those who suffer from frequent yeast infections should also avoid consuming excessive amounts of alcohol and starchy vegetables as well as meat and dairy products.
- Asthma attacks: Summertime can be a dangerous time for kids and adults with asthma. Smog and air pollution, high pollen levels and increased mold growth due to high humidity can cause asthma attacks.
According to Mayo Clinic, there’s no diet that can eliminate asthma symptoms, avoiding allergic foods, avoiding sulfates (triggers asthma). However, eating fresh fruit and vegetables (that contain a good source of antioxidants such as beta carotene and vitamins C and E) and consuming Vitamin D-rich items such as milk, eggs and fish such as salmon, can help.