7 diet and lifestyle tips for healthy living this season
New research from Alive! – the evidence-backed supplement for all life stages – found that more than three in ten Brits (31%) believe that Vitamin D is not essential for good health and wellbeing (or didn’t know) in spite of the latest government recommendations. And further real-world data from Alive! also found that:
Summer’s longer days, brighter sunshine, and warmer temperatures tend to help us enjoy an improved mood, better diet, and stronger fitness habits. Suzie Sawyer, clinical nutritionist for Alive! – the smart brains behind a range of nutritional supplements for all seasonal and life stage needs – shares her seven top tips to help you make the most of healthy summertime living.
#1 Charge up on Vitamin D
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient needed to support proper bodily functioning—everything from immunity to mood to keep bones and muscles healthy. Though most of the nutrients our body needs are available via the food we eat, vitamin D is primarily obtained via sun exposure.
Unfortunately, for various reasons, including indoor lifestyles, vitamin D is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in modern society. And lack of sun exposure can also lead to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) in the winter months, especially if the preceding summer has been low in the sunshine.
Particularly in the UK and other higher latitude climates that have less sun exposure in the winter, summertime sun exposure is an important way to help “store” vitamin D for the less sunny winter months. However, because there is not enough sun in the UK, and many people work for long hours indoors, Public Health England (PHE), suggests we all take 10 mcg/day of vitamin D as a supplement, as it is so difficult to obtain this amount through diet alone. Try Alive! Vitamin D3 Gummies contain 50 μg of vitamin D3 per dose as well as calcium and phosphorus or Nature’s Way Vitamin D3 High Strength 50µg Chocolate Chewable one-a-day tablets.
#2 Eat your sunscreen – literally!
Food provides some of the best sunscreens around. And that’s because sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body. Your diet can increase or decrease your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, as well as its ability to repair itself when it does get damaged. To reduce your sun sensitivity and risk of sun damage, make sure you’re eating enough anti-inflammatory foods like:
- Healthy fats rich in Omega-3s: Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation in your body and promote healing. Good sources include fish (like sardines and salmon), eggs, flaxseed, and walnuts. Omega-3s are also available in supplement form via fish oil and flaxseed oil (vegan). Try this delicious, steamed Teriyaki salmon parcels recipe which, as well as being high in Omega-3s is an ideal way to get kids in the kitchen!
- Carotenoid protection. All fruits and veggies contain skin-protecting antioxidants. However, carotenoids (think carrots!), provide even greater protection against UV damage, and UVA-induced pigmentation. And for greater protection and to enhance the condition of your hair, skin and nails which can become damaged during the summer months, I swear by Alive! Hair, Skin & Nails Gummies, specially formulated with biotin, collagen, zinc and vitamins C and E as well as a unique blend of 26 fruits and vegetables (including carrots!)
- Veggies: The vitamins and antioxidants in veggies help to protect cells from the effects of UV radiation. Leafy greens and tomatoes are particularly good.
- Antioxidant-rich foods: Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals in your cells, as well as protect against sunburn and skin damage. In addition to veggies, berries, beans, nuts and green or black tea have high antioxidant properties.
Though the first step of good sun protection is keeping your skin healthy from the inside out, it’s also important to protect your skin from excessive exposure and use sunscreen coverage.
#3 Stay hydrated
Proper hydration is important any time of year — but it’s especially so in the summertime sun and heat. And remember to boost your water take if you spend time in the heat—particularly when exercising or exerting yourself in the heat. It’s recommended to drink 450-600ml of water one to two hours before a workout and then 200-250ml every 15-20 minutes you spend exercising in the heat or sweating.
#4 Set summer wellness goals
Summer is one of the best times to start a new wellness routine—the longer days, brighter sunshine, and fresh air tend to help us feel more energetic, optimistic, and better able to set and reach our personal goals, to improve both physical and mental health. That means it’s a perfect time to get started with a new healthy lifestyle habit that you’d like to continue carrying into the colder, winter months too. They could include goals such as losing a few pounds, increasing the number of steps per day, spending more time with friends and family and even volunteering to support the local community.
#5 Up the ante!
For the same reasons establishing summer wellness goals tend to be easier in the summer, the warmer summer months are also a great time to start (and stick with!) a new exercise routine.
#6 Don’t be a Gogglebox
Many of the healthy habit “add-ons” I’ve mentioned are easier accomplished with a couple of extra hours in your day… which can be found by reducing TV time. According to the latest data, each UK adult watches an average of three hours 12 minutes of TV each day —which is plenty of time to incorporate an exercise routine, self-care routine, and other healthy habits into your daily life such as going for a long walk or joining a fitness class.
#7 Enjoy healthy holidays
Along with all the excitement and fun of visiting new places and spending time with family and friends, travel can also be somewhat of a physical challenge to the body. With long days, busy schedules, irregular meals, and exposure to new microbes (i.e. unfriendly bacteria and viruses), traveling often includes some form of digestive distress, bloating, illness, or trouble sleeping. Probiotic supplements are helpful when traveling for a couple of key reasons – they boost your immunity (your gut is your immune system’s key line of defence!) and keep your digestive system healthy and happy, which is helpful when detouring from your usual eating habits and exposing your digestive system to new foods. I recommend Nature’s Way Fortify Friendly Bacteria Gummies which provides 6 billion viable live cultures of a lactic acid-producing strain, further supporting the immune system, per daily adult dose in a soft chewable form.
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*Article contains affiliate links
 Consumer omnibus survey among 1,030 UK adults. Commissioned by Schwabe Pharma (UK) Ltd and Nature’s Way UK. Conducted by Perspectus Global. Spring 2022
 https://www.certifyfit.com/blog/exercising-in-the-heat-heres-how-to-stay-hydrated/ https://www.statista.com/statistics/269918/daily-tv-viewing-time-in-the-uk-by-age/