Summer is a great time of the year, one where we can get outdoors more often, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables, get some much needed vitamin D, and take that long awaited vacation. Those things alone are a cause for celebration.
However, with any season there are the pros and cons and summer is no exception. There are a few pitfalls with this season that could impact you immediately and in the future, but the good news is that if you know the risks of the summer and prepare for them accordingly, you can make this season the most blissful one yet.
Yes, you’ve heard it over and over again — make sure you are properly hydrated during the summer! But before you go filling up your water jug from the tap there are details you need to consider that can make sure your hydration goes much more effectively.
First of all, very few people drink hydrating (clean and highly mineralized) water. The difference between a poorly filtered (or not filtered at all) water and a clean and highly mineralized water just might shock you, with respect to hydration. For example, clean spring water is the most hydrating water you can consume, whereas tap water pales in comparison. The absence of added chemicals, and the addition of minerals are two keys to hydrating your body at the cellular level, keeping your body and it’s 70 percent water content well nourished.
If you can’t access spring water (from an actual spring, NOT in a plastic bottle), then make sure your water is clean then add minerals and electrolytes to it for excellent hydration, especially when exerting yourself or spending a lot of time in the hot sun (ideal for athletes). You can do that very well with the Health Ranger’s Concentrated Mineral Drops and Electrolyte Drops (drop the GMO, fake sugar, and artificial colors of sport drinks like Gatorade).
In addition to water intake, it’s important to realize that we typically eat and drink items that are quite dehydrating, during the summer months. Flour products (bread, buns), BBQ meat, and alcohol are just a few things that exacerbate dehydration in the hot summer months. Instead, fill up more on fresh, water dense produce that is fresh and organic. Consuming berries, melons, cherries, peaches, pears, grapes, and the like will ensure that your body receives a good level of hydration from your food (and you’ll get plenty of skin supporting antioxidants as well).
There are times to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes, but these days they have become more of an obsessive fashion statement than a health benefit and that has come with unintended consequences.
You see, the eyes need sunlight too as it is the most direct path of communication to the brain, and your hormone health depends on it. When the full spectrum of the suns rays are received by the retina, the brain sets in motion production of hormones that make us healthy and happy. As articulated by Healing the Body:
“The lens at the back of the eye, which stimulates the body’s master clock in the hypothalamus and pineal gland, absorbs the blue part of the sunlight spectrum. This in turn creates the production and release of melatonin, the circadian rhythm hormone that regulates sleep-wake cycles. It is also a powerful immune booster and anti-aging antioxidant that protects DNA and delays neuro-degeneration.”
In layman’s terms, wearing sunglasses can depress your immune system, your brain health, and ruin your sleep cycle. Maybe it’s time to acclimate your uncovered eyeballs to the sun a bit more, when the shades are not absolutely required?
BBQs can be a lot of fun, with the gathering of friends and family in a relaxed environment and with good food. Unfortunately, the good food is not always good for your body with repercussions coming at you immediately or further down the road (but they will come).
The main concern with traditional BBQs is the cleanliness of the cuts of meat commonly used, the sauces and spices put on them, and the dehydrating and mucous forming foods that go with it all. However, you can easily clean this all up.
First of all, choose meats that are free of any steroids, antibiotics, nitrites, and GMOs (i.e. corn fed animals). Then, choose sauces and spices that are free of chemical additives or preservatives like MSG, sodium benzoate, and HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup). Instead, use individual organic spices and make your own blend our sauce, or simply use a high quality pink Himalayan salt, like this one in the Health Ranger Store.
Just as important, is avoiding the charcoaling of your meat, which can generate acrylamides, posing some serious health risks in the process. Instead, lightly grill or smoke, and use indirect heat to avoid unnecessarily burning your cuts of meat. (Hint: You can also take vitamin C with your BBQ to help counteract the negative effects.)
Summer is nearly synonymous with alcohol consumption, and although there is really nothing health promoting about alcohol, you can make it a much better habit with a few things in mind.
The first thing is to make the typical choices a bit more friendly to digestion and liver function. If you like beer, find an organic and gluten free one to avoid the unnecessary gastronomic distress and additional toxicities to your liver. If you drink wine, choose white more often and consider making it a spritzer by adding a carbonated beverage to it (like sparkling water or kombucha). If it’s hard liquor you like, stick to the “healthier” ones like gin or vodka, add plenty of limes and lemons to the mix, and consider a probiotic mixer like coconut kefir (Kevita is a nice brand) or your favorite kombucha. This will support your digestion and liver, without sacrificing taste.
Of course, this does not mean you can cram back as many alcoholic beverages as you want and feel fine. Commit to drinking no more than two drinks per hour to allow your liver time to process it. If you don’t, a very ugly compound starts circulating in your bloodstream, which you can learn more about here.
Now, this isn’t about Uncle Willie and his poor choices poolside, rather, the failure to use the suns rays responsibly.
It may seem inevitable that you will get a burn this summer (and probably have already), or maybe you are the sunscreen Nazi and everyone gets doused with toxic sunscreen lotion before they even leave the house. Either way is a health disaster.
Your first goal should be to get some adequate vitamin D by exposing at least your arms and legs without sunscreen, for 15-30 minutes a day (how long depends on the sun’s intensity in your location). This will allow for adequate vitamin D production by the body, without severely burning yourself (if you do, consider aloe vera or organic essential oils as a topical remedy). If you want a visual sign, go until you are slightly pink. Following that, either get out of the sun or put on a non-toxic sunscreen like the Health Ranger’s Sunstick Broad Spectrum SPF 30 to prevent skin damage.
Summer is truly a great season to enjoy to the fullest. Take these tips to heart, and you will extract every bit of its benefits, without suffering from the “dark” side of the season.