Did you know that your nutritional needs change during the summer? The heat, humidity, and rays of the sun can rob your body of important nutrients. That’s why it’s important to adapt your nutritional needs as the seasons change.
If you spend a fair amount of time in the sun each week, you can temporarily stop taking vitamin D. Because our bodies produce it naturally, there’s no reason to take more than you need. If, however, you begin to show signs of vitamin D deficiency, you’ll want to add it back to your diet. A simple blood test can determine if you’re vitamin deficient.
Summer Nutritional Needs
As the days heat up, our bodies react to the changes in temperature. We’re in the heat. We sweat. We lose essential vitamins and minerals. Get plenty of vitamins A, C, and E to compensate for these losses. Here’s why.
There is some evidence to suggest that vitamin A may prevent skin cancer when taken as a daily supplement. Vitamin A also helps repair skin damage from the sun, which can make the summer more tolerable as your skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays.
One note of concern is that Vitamin A does not react well when taken in adjunct with certain medications. Here are just a few:
- Birth control pills
- Blood thinners – Coumadin, Jantoven
- Isotretinoin – Accutane, Sotret, Claravis, Amnesteem
- Bexarotene -- Targretin
- Tretinoin – Vesanoid
- Cholestyramine – Questran, Prevalite
Additionally, when taken in large doses, vitamin A can have serious – even life-threatening –health effects. Always ensure that you take the recommended daily dosage to stay within safe limits.
To get vitamin A naturally, consume dark leafy green vegetables; kale is an excellent source. Yellow bell peppers, kiwi, and strawberries will also provide you with ample amounts of vitamin A, as well.
Load up on vitamin C when you’re going to be in the sun a lot. The ascorbic acid in vitamin C helps keep your sweat glands in good working condition. Vitamin C is also a preventive step toward protecting your body from heat strokes and heat rashes during the summer months.
If allergies make you miserable, a daily dose of vitamin C will help curb your symptoms. A natural histamine and immune system booster, vitamin C is a must-have supplement for the summer. Tomatoes, berries, and broccoli are a few foods that are rich in the sunshine vitamin.
Vitamin E protects your skin from damage during the hot months of summer. It can also be used for increasing physical endurance and muscle strength. If you’re participating in outdoor activities during the summer, vitamin E will boost your energy.
Tofu, nuts, and cooked spinach are loaded with vitamin E. Lean pork, beef, lamb, and oily fish are also good choices to add more of this essential vitamin to your diet.