YOUR TICKET TO A SAFE AND HEALTHY SUMMER
Each season brings its own kind of fun and enjoyment, but with these pluses also come a set of challenges. The arrival of summer is no exception. As the sun beats down and the airheats up, remember these 5 important tricks to help you stay safe and healthy this summer.
1. Stay hydrated, stay healthy. Water is essential to life, helping maintain a clear mind and working body. And because your body is roughly 70 percent water, it is necessary to maintain hydration levels by replenishing the water used by your body throughout the day. Mild dehydration produces symptoms including headache, decreased energy and urine/sweat output. Severe dehydration can lead to swelling of the brain, seizures, idney failure and even death. Although many people fail to drink enough water, it is also possible to over-hydrate. To avoid over-hydration while exercising in the summer sun, sip, don’t chug. A general rule of thumb for how much water to drink is 1/2 your body weight in ounces. So, a 150 lb person would try for about 75 oz of water per day. If you’re looking for some creative ways to take in more water, consider herbal, caffeine-free tea or foods high in water content such as watermelon and cucumbers. My favourite fruit water mixture is cutting up a few fresh organic strawberries and lemon and adding them with water to a pitcher. Keep refilling the water throughout the day, it is so refreshing.
3. Love your sunscreen. Sunscreen is important because the sun’s UVA rays can damage skin. Some sunscreens prevent sunburn but not other types of skin damage, so it is important to make sure your sunscreen offers broad spectrum protection. Avoid sunscreen containing vitamin A, also called retinyl palmitate or retinol, as these may carry adverse health effects down the road. You should also avoid products containing oxybenzone, a synthetic estrogen that can disrupt your hormones. Instead, look for products containing zinc oxide, 3% avobensone or Mexoryl SX which will protect your skin from harmful UVA radiation. EWG’s Best Sunscreens (http://www.ewg.org/2014sunscreen/) is an excellent guide to help you pick the right sunscreen for you. With information on some 700 SPF-rated products, high ratings are given to brands that provide broad spectrum, long-lasting protection using ingredients that carry fewer health concerns. You might also want to peruse your local natural grocery or drug store for natural, safe sunscreens.
4. Protect with clothing. Clothing is one of the best ways to protect your skin from sunburn. Wear a hat to protect your delicate scalp and face from over-exposure to sun. Remember your sunglasses. They aren’t just a fashion accessory; they can also help protect your eyes from UV radiation which can cause cataracts. Wearing light-colored clothing will not only reflect the sun’s rays, keeping you cooler than dark colors, but will also help limit bug bites and bee stings.
5. Repel bugs naturally. Bug bites not only itch, but they can also transmit potentially threatening diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Choosing the right bug repellant for you is very important. DEET, a relatively common ingredient in synthetic bug repellants, can be toxic. Most recommend using DEET containing repellents sparingly, but why not eliminate the DEET altogether! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using repellents containing picaridin or lemon eucalyptus oil instead. In fact, natural repellents containing citronella work well also. Lavender essential oil is also recommended to ward of mosquitos. doTerra carries the essential oil blend Terra Shield that works well for repelling bugs naturally.
Photo Credit. FreeImages.com.
Water, The Essential Nutrient. DrWeil.com.
Dehydration Myths: 7 Things You Should Know About Staying Hydrated. The Huffington Post.
EWG’s Best Sunscreens. The Environmental Working Group.
Top Sun Safety Tips. The Environmental Working Group.
Make Summer Safe for Kids. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
FAQ: Insect Repellent Use & Safety. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.References
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Photo Credit: Yourgenesis.com
RECIPE: NO BAKE WATERMELON CAKE
Summer is a prime time for outdoor get-togethers, picnics, and cook-outs, but desserts are often heavy on the stomach, making them less than ideal for consumption in the summer heat. Soothe everyone’s sweet tooth and nourish bodies after meals with this light and healthy dessert option that not only looks happily patriotic, but also refreshes the body and taste buds. This cake will serve approximately 12 people making it perfect for small get-togethers.
1 large watermelon
Coconut whipped cream
Fudgy Chocolate Beet Cake with Chocolate Avocado Frosting (Vegan and GF). Coffee & Quinoa.
Photo Credit. FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Flavonoids. Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University.
The Bioavailability of Different Forms of Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid). Linus Pauling Institute. Oregon State University.
TOUR OF THE MINTS (MENTHA)
There are many ways to enjoy mint. Try a cup of fresh mint tea, add some to a fruit salad, or add chopped mint leaves to soups that feature tomatoes. Fresh mints carry a superior flavor to dried mint and are better suited for culinary purposes. To store fresh mint leaves, carefully wrap them in a damp paper towel and place the pack inside a loosely closed plastic bag. If refrigerated this way, the leaves should keep for several days. Mints are fast-growing, aromatic herbs, which grow well in container gardens with moist, well-draining soil, set in full to partial sun. Many will also grow well indoors, making it possible to utilize mint year-round. For more tips on how to grow mint in your garden, check out GardeningKnowHow.com.
Photo credit. FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Mint Plant Varieties: Types of Mint for the Garden. Gardening Know How.
Herb Fact Sheet: Mint. The Herb Society.
Peppermint. The World’s Healthiest Foods.
Photo credit. FreeDigitalPhotos.net.
Mud Therapy Benefits. NaturopathyCure.com.
Mud is Not a Four-letter Word: A Took at the Upside of Dirt. Padro, Josie. Alive: Canada’s Natural Health & Wellness Magazine. Jan 2009, Issue 315, p 78-79. 2p.
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