4 Health Tips to Try This Summer

Maylin Rodriguez-Paez RN

Summer is almost here. Are you and your body prepared for it?

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.1-4

Some are even more effective than DEET.2-3 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.7-9 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.10

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.11

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.

What about You?

Got any summertime tips to share? Please leave them in the comments!

References:

  1. Asian Pac J Trop Biomed. 2011 Apr;1(2):85-8. 
  2. J Environ Sci Health B. 2013;48(11):1014-9. 
  3. J Am Mosq Control Assoc. 2005 Mar;21(1):80-3. 
  4. Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2013 Aug;107(8):471-9. 
  5. Nutr Cancer. 1999;34(2):147-52. 
  6. J Food Sci. 2008 Aug;73(6):T100-5. 
  7. J Photochem Photobiol B. 2006 Mar 1;82(3):173-9. 
  8. Dermatol Sci. 2003 Jun;32(1):1-9. 
  9. Photodermatol Photoimmunol Photomed. 1997 Feb-Apr;13(1-2):50-60. 
  10. Am J Emerg Med. 2000 Jan;18(1):108-11. 
  11. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012 Jan 18;9(1):1.

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2 comments:

Stephen Knows Cancer said...

One other summer safety tip that I'd like to share is performing monthly self-exams for skin cancer. Studies have shown that skin cancer is on the rise (in particular cases of melanoma-- the most deadly form of skin cancer). Catching these diseases as early as possible is very important. Similar to how we are advised to perform regular self-exams for lumps that could be potentially cancerous, becoming familiar with your skin means its more likely you'll notice something that seems a bit strange or bizarre.

Life Extension said...

Stephen Knows Cancer - Great tip. Thanks for your input!

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