I AM SO scared to talk about this heat, because this is the best summer ever and I don’t want to take it for granted.
We have just had our annual camping trip in Dorset, with our closest family friends and it was amazing. Camping in wall-to-wall sunshine makes everything very pleasant!
You can go in the sea, dry off in seconds and even the damp towels dry out in no time at all. Sitting outside in the evenings, the temperature was comfortable and you didn’t need layers of clothing to stay warm.
So, while this beautiful weather continues, its good to know there are plenty of things you can do to cool down, such as the use of fans in every room, cold showers, ice packs and clothes in the fridge! (Honestly, try it!) But what can you actually eat to keep you cooler and help protect against sun damage?
While foods like broccoli, cantaloupe melon and grapefruit are great for their high water content; there are other foods with some surprising summer health benefits – including protection from the sun’s rays.
Here’s my top six cooling and hydrating foods:
Leafy greens are high in vitamin A and help to protect you from the UV radiation, limit dryness and irritation of your skin. Eat greens twice a day for the best results.
I would suggest using spinach as a foundation to your salad as it is rich in beta-carotene. Spinach is good, as are mache and arugula which contain a lot of vitamins and minerals.
This fruit is extremely rich in antioxidants, ellagic acid and has anti-inflammatory agents, which can help your skin to resist cell damage caused by UVA and UVB rays.
Pomegranate has been proven to be beneficial to our health and fighting against ageing and sun-damaged skin. Try to eat two to three fruits a week, either the seeds with natural yoghurt or sprinkled over your salad, or drink a fresh pomegranate juice with ice.
Carrots are another sun fighting power food. The beta-carotene in carrots, which the body converts to vitamin A, has been linked to reduce reaction to sunburn.
Try to eat a few carrots a day. Cut them in sticks and eat them with guacamole, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to reduce the risk of sunburn and develop an even skin tone.
Dairy products like natural yoghurt also contain a lot of vitamin A. If you are not a fan of carrots you can try other vitamin A food such as liver and other organ meats, eel, root vegetables, fruit, tuna, egg, low fat dairy, mango, kale, apricot, spinach and nettles.
Cucumber contains mostly water, which helps your skin to stay hydrated. The vegetable also helps to produce collagen, which is a good anti-cancer property.
Tomatoes are one of the top sun protection superfoods. All types of tomatoes are full of antioxidants that help to protect your skin from UV-radiation. The vitamin C and the lycopene found in tomatoes help to keep the skin hydrated and fight free radicals.
This fruit works just like tomatoes. It is rich in antioxidants, which limit the UV-radiation on your body. It is also full of water so eat three to four slices a day to stay hydrated during the warm summer months. However, don’t over-eat as the sugar may increase the blood sugar levels.
Whatever you are doing this summer, staying cool and hydrated can make you feel like you have a whole lot more energy and stamina so you can continue feeling great all summer long. Enjoy!