Healthy Eating Tips for the Summer
The Healthy View
Written by: Dr. Demetre Katrivanos, Naturopathic Doctor, Adelaide Health Clinic & Sport Medicine Clinic
With summer about to begin, we often spend more time on the patios, food festivals, picnics, and various markets indulging in our favourite foods with little regard to the effects on our waistline but also on our gut health. Our healthy eating habits go a bit astray and before you know it those summer clothes fit a bit more snug and with each passing day as the mercury rises so does our disappointment and frustration.
But is there anything we can do? Do we need to compromise on the small pleasures in life to keep our waistline in check? How do we stay on track but enjoy the summer tastes?
Here are some tips that can help keep your gut and waistline in check but still give you an opportunity to enjoy the summer foods.
What about hydration?
First, start by staying hydrated during the summer months by increasing your water intake as we lose more fluids during those hot humid days. You may think that you're hungry and choose to have a snack but in essence you might be thirsty. So, start your morning with a glass of water and make sure to have a water bottle with you to take to work.
So Many Food Festivals...What do I do?
If you're attending a food festival, have a plan beforehand on what you'll choose and how much you'll eat. Don’t starve yourself before attending because this will cause you to overeat. Look for nutrient dense whole foods that have a combination of protein, good fats, and fibre to help with digestion. Avoid salty, high sugar, processed foods that can cause bloating.
Frappuccinos are calling my name! Literally! What should I do?
As we know lattes, frappuccinos, and summer coffee drinks are high in empty calories and high in sugar - so I suggest keeping it to 1 (small) drink per week as a treat. If you are a coffee drinker, then 1-2 cups per day is ideal, preferably black without the sugars and creams.
My 5 favourite herbs/natural therapies for our daily life during the summer months?
Probiotics: Probiotics are a source of “good bacteria” that work to maintain a healthy gut flora. They help us to better digest the foods we can’t metabolize on our own and play a role in regulating our immune system.
Omega-3’s: Omega 3’s are essential fatty acids that are important for our skin, brain health, mood, and joint mobility. Summer usually means more activities and more time outdoors so it’s important that we avoid any chance of increasing inflammation in the body and omega 3’s can help control the inflammation.
B Complex: B vitamins are water-soluble nutrients that play an important role in metabolism, management of stress and energy levels, as well as neurological health. They also support liver detoxification and can be used the day after drinking to help with those hangovers!
Antioxidants: More sun exposure in the summer months can lead to increased risk of sunburn, and skin damage that can lead to premature skin aging. Antioxidants including vitamins A, C, & E plus selenium and zinc are amazing to keep our skin looking healthy and protect us from oxidative cell damage.
Electrolytes: Hot temperatures, unfortunately, means more sweat! More sweating leads to more minerals lost which can lead to dehydration. I often will suggest adding an electrolyte powder or liquid mineral supplement to your water to drink throughout the day.