When rolling through the seasons, not only do environmental elements change, but our diet and lifestyle also change. Each season brings new challenges and preparing our bodies naturally, can help us to transition through the seasons feeling the best we can.
As we move into summer, it may be possible to protect our body from summer elements with these top 5 nutrients...
As the temperature goes up, our exposure to UV rays from sunlight also increase. Some studies, particularly animal and cell studies, suggest that certain elements of our diet such as the antioxidant beta-carotene, may offer some protection against this. However, it’s important to note that diet is not a replacement to SPF sun cream and so topical sunscreens should be always used.
You can find beta-carotene in orange and green fruit and vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash, sweet potato, mango and spinach.
Come summer, hay fever is one of the most common allergies around. The body mounts an immune response to allergens such as pollen and can result in symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing and blocked sinuses.
Since 70% of our immune system lies within the gut, it’s thought that our gut bacteria may play a positive role when it comes to immune regulation and hay fever. 1
Try fermented foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and kimchi.
Interestingly research has shown that quail eggs contain special proteins that may help to reduce hay fever symptoms. 2 In vitro studies have found that quail eggs contain special compounds that may play a role in alleviating allergic reactions and modulate immune cell function.
Subsequent studies have been conducted in humans in which participants, who took quail egg powder and were exposed to environmental allergens, had significant improvements with symptoms in comparison to those taking the placebo. 3
Omega 3 fats
A summer of sun, sea and chlorine can create its own damage to our skin, hair and nails. This shift may result in dry skin and brittle hair, and by fuelling our body the right way we can nourish both from within.
Omega 3 fats are essential within the diet and line every single cell membrane. It is these fats, which are responsible for glowing skin and glossy hair.
For that summer glow consume oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and sardines or opt for ground flaxseeds or chia seeds.
Summer is often dubbed the party season, and when the sun shines it’s all too easy to overindulge in those summer cocktails. However. consumption of large quantities of alcohol can quickly deplete our stores of B vitamins, which are essential for energy production, mood and even the nervous system.
If alcohol intake is high, focus on foods rich in B vitamins such as lean meat, eggs, beans, lentils, nuts and seeds.
By Lily Soutter BSc (hons) Human Nutrition, Dip ION