Summertime Nutritional Tips for Sun, Fun, and the Bumps that Go With Them

May 31, 2021 | Dr. Linda J. Dobberstein, DC, Board Certified in Clinical Nutrition

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 Summertime Nutritional Tips for Sun, Fun, and the Bumps that Go With Them
Summer is here! These long anticipated days are filled with many wonderful activities. With Pandemic restrictions easing up, comes a return of favorite summer pastimes. Here are some nutritional tips to help you keep healthy during this season.

Sun Exposure and Skin

On beautiful summer days, everyone wants to soak up the sun. Sunshine provides so many benefits, yet can be stressful on your body. No one wants to experience bad sunburn. Tolerance to sunshine exposure depends on several things like your skin tone, length of time in the sun, time of day that you are out, and proximity to the equator. It also depends on the antioxidant status within your skin.

Your skin contains several types of antioxidants. These antioxidants protect against the ultraviolet radiation caused by the sun. Antioxidant stores fortify and protect your skin against the elements and sunshine. Ideally, these antioxidants supplies are present year-round, but are especially needed when you have exposure to the UV rays of summer time.

Antioxidants found in richly colored fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone for skin protection against UV rays and overall good health. Those who consume the Western diet readily fall short of the recommended 5-9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day. Make sure to ramp up your nutritional support for skin protection against UV radiation during the summer months. This is especially important if you are prone to sunburns. Favorite nutrient support includes Skin Rejuvenator, Daily Super E, Daily Protector, and Grape Seed Extract.

If you get a bit too much sun and need some extra natural help, nutrients help make the recovery easier. To help skin recover from the oxidative stress and trauma of sunburn, some of my go-to products are Grape Seed Extract, Daily Protector, Glutathione Ultra, Quercetin and/or Repair Plus. Topical application of Daily Super E, Squalene, and Shea Butter can be very helpful to soothe the skin. Apply liberally over the irritated skin 1-3 times per day. Keep up your hydration too to help your skin.

Make sure to protect your eyes from UV radiation. Consider antioxidant support such as Daily Protector, Astaxanthin and Strengthener Plus along with a pair of quality sunglasses or a cap or hat.

Additional resources:

Sun Protection What Makes Sense?

Sunscreen and Vaccine Adjuvants: As Harmless as You Are Led to Believe?

Astaxanthin Helps Protect Eyesight

Bug Bites

Biting gnats, mosquitoes, flies or other pesky insects can be more than a nuisance. The welts and itchiness can be nasty for some people. Commercial insect repellants add to the toxic load of your body, especially when used repeatedly. Consider blends of natural essential oils like lemongrass, eucalyptus, garlic, citronella, or cedarwood, etc. for a less toxic alternative. Ideally, ensure that your nutritional status is optimized in the days and weeks ahead of time so your body can manage mast cell and histamine release triggered by bug bites. B vitamins, Vitamin C, Quercetin, Grape Seed Extract, magnesium, and Chlorella help histamine modulation and can be used to fortify before and after management support.

Additional resources:

Mosquitoes Bugging You? Nutrition Can Help

5 Ways to Manage Histamine

Recovery after Athletics and Sports

Summertime events with competitions, marathons, hikes, and other innumerable athletic events bring great pleasure for many. Summertime heat though brings additional challenges. Training and performing in the heat can take a toll on recovery, electrolyte status, and even contribute to gut problems and headaches, heat exhaustion or worse.

Demands of the activity as well as environmental and body heat-produced inflammatory chemicals in the gut cause changes in the “tight junctions”. Endurance athletes are especially at risk for changes in intestinal permeability that affect performance and recovery. A one-hour workout at 70% of maximum workout capacity has been shown to cause measureable changes with increased intestinal permeability. While you may not personally or always exercise at that intensity, concerns may arise if your gastrointestinal health is marginal to begin with.

Consider support such as GI & Muscle Helper and Workout to help recovery. (See also the Heat Stress Section of article.) Extra joint, adrenal, and mitochondrial support may be helpful too to help with the physiological strain. Favorites include Joint All or Hyaluronic Acid, Turmeric, Repair Plus, PQQ, Super Coenzyme Q10, and Pantethine.

Additional resources:

Leaky Gut Syndrome: More Than Just a Gut Problem

Top 10 Best Post-Workout Repair Nutrients

Injury Recovery and Soft Tissue Support

Scrapes, Bumps, and Bruises

Inevitably with sports and activities, there are scrapes, bumps, and bruises. There may even be a case of bad road rash from an unexpected spill. These concerns often heal within a few days. If, however, you notice that it takes you longer to repair, then some extra support may be helpful. General support to help connective tissue may include Strengthener Plus, Vitamin C, and Grape Seed Extract.

If you bruise easily, you may need iron, vitamin C, or vitamin K. Check with your provider to see if you are anemic. Medications and OTC products like ibuprofen, aspirin, and other NSAIDs, etc. may also cause easy bruising.

Sugar, Treats and Grilling

Summertime treats with sweets add to the fun of summer. Iced teas, sodas, a few cold beers, fresh watermelon, other summer fruits and a few indulgences of ice cream, popsicles, and other sweet treats can do a number on your blood sugar and waistline, too. It is especially concerning if these are predominately your summertime diet or if you snack frequently on these foods. Carbohydrates, whether natural from fruit or processed foods affect blood sugar regulation. Many times, individuals may experience increased triglycerides if they snack on fruit or sip on iced tea or lemonade throughout the day. Be mindful about your choices and timing. It is easier on your body to have treats with a meal rather than on an empty stomach.

Grilled and fried foods are also a treat for many. The deep-fried crispy crunch or the charbroil flavor is satisfying for many. However, high-heat cooking methods produce an unwanted health challenge, i.e. the production of advanced glycation end products or AGEs. AGEs are bioactive compounds made when foods are cooked with high heat. AGEs are also made inside your body as a result of high sugar and carbohydrate intake. AGEs are stressful to tissues and make capillaries, cell membranes, and nerves stiff and damaged. AGEs contribute to oxidative stress and are linked with several health concerns. AGEs consumption can also raise your hemoglobin A1C levels.

If you are known as the “grill king or queen” in your neighborhood or indulge in fried foods on a stick or in a basket, then you may want to think about how these habits impact your blood sugar or heart health. Infrequent occurrence is not a big problem in general, but can add to your overall health burden. If that deep-fried corndog or big plate of French fries left you feeling stiff, blah, and with your gut in knots the next day, you have to ask – is it worth it?

Support to help blood sugar oxidative stress management includes LeptiSlim, Leptinal, Cinnamon Plus, Gluco Plus, Carnosine, Daily Detoxify, Resveratrol, Pterostilbene, and others.

Additional resources:

The Five Rules of The Leptin Diet

Blood Sugar Affects Heart Rhythm

Insulin, Leptin, and Blood Sugar – Why Diabetic Medication Fails

Cinnamon Supports Blood Sugar Health, Fat Burning and Immune Defense

Round-Up and Lawn Chemicals

Summertime brings about yardwork and lawn projects. Weed management is often at the top of that project list after getting the grass mowed. Your local hardware and big box stores have selections of herbicides and other lawn chemicals that give an extra helping hand with a squeeze of a bottle.

These chemicals like Roundup are not inert. They add to your total body burden and toxic load whether you apply them, the lawn company does, or you live or work in the agricultural industry. They are found ubiquitously and your body must detoxify them. No one knows what their tolerance to chemical exposure and detoxification ability is, or when it reaches a threshold for triggering illness or cellular mutations.

Choose chemical-free methods to maintain a healthy lawn and weed maintenance as much as you can. It helps reduce your total body burden and is also helpful for ground-water management, animals, fish, and the ecosystem. If you work in the agricultural industry, take care to use appropriate precautions and enhance detoxification if you have to use or be around these chemicals. Supplement support to help your body manage exposure may include Glutathione Ultra, Daily Detoxify, Daily Protector, Super Dophilus, Sulfur Plus, Strengthener Plus and others.

Additional resources:

Thyroid and Brain Health Impacted by Glyphosate Herbicides

Asthma, Methylation, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Roundup

GMOs, Roundup and Sunscreen Linked with Diminished Brain Resiliency

Gluten Intolerance, Gut Problems Linked with Roundup Toxicity

Monsanto’s Roundup Linked to Cancer, ADHD, Mitochondrial Dysfunction

Heat Tolerance and Hydration

Tolerance to heat changes with age, medication use, thyroid and adrenal health, history of brain injuries, autonomic nervous system disorders that have blood pressure dysregulation, and simply living indoors in air conditioning.

Your hydration and electrolyte status, i.e. sodium, chloride, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, also affects your heat tolerance. Consume at least ½ of your body weight in ounces of water for normal daily hydration. Hydration needs increase by another 16-32 ounces or more per day depending on your activity status and environmental temperatures. If you are a “salt-waster” or can see salt lines on your clothing after a work-out, you must be diligent about replacing salt intake. Consider making “salt water sole”.

Summer heat stress also impacts intestinal tight junction integrity. Add in intake of alcohol, gluten, dietary sugar, ibuprofen and/or aspirin or proton pump inhibitors/acid blocking medications, and it is a recipe for increased gut permeability. Poor absorption of nutrients from leaky gut syndrome and gut distress may further impact electrolyte status and make it even harder for your body to cope with environmental stressors. Be diligent about electrolyte support and gut health with summer heat and these concerns.

If you are on water pills/diuretics, blood pressures meds, or have chronic kidney disease, check with your medical provider or pharmacist. You may have special needs for electrolyte management.

4 Nutrients to Beat the Summer Heat

Excessive Sweating Is a Sign You Need More Antioxidants

Potassium – A Valuable Mineral for Health

Potassium Balances Salt Intake

Potassium and Blood Pressure

Potassium Boost Protein Smoothie

Noise and Hearing Protection

Summertime sounds brings bird chirping, the crash of waves on the shore, the hum of bees along with a myriad of other sounds. Lawn mowers, power blowers, chain saws, hedge trimmers, motorcycles, motor racing events, concerts, firecrackers and fireworks, and more permeate the air. And then there are personal listening devices when out on your walk. These sounds create oxidative stress to your ears. Over time, repetitive strain on the cochlea (inner ear structure) triggers inflammaging. These micro-traumas over the course of your lifetime and total body burden can lead to age-related hearing loss.

Your auditory system requires several nutrients to function and protect itself against the stress of noise. Folate and B vitamins, R-Alpha Lipoic Acid, coenzyme Q10, magnesium, melatonin, vitamin E and choline are essential to auditory health.

Additional resource:

Hearing Loss – What’s Missing From Your Diet Can Hurt

Travel: Immune, Food, Gut, Sleep

Road trips or travel bring excitement, but also its own anxiety. It may be helpful to have a little extra support to help with new foods, time zone changes, and different sleeping environments. As Pandemic restrictions relax and you make your travel plans, make sure to also support your immune system.

Immune support for traveling includes Super Immune Booster or Immune Plus, Oregano Oil, and Quercetin. These are great for general purpose immune support, pre- and post-airline travel, sinus support, and gut health.

If you eat some questionable food and your tummy feels off, consider Oregano Oil, Digestive Helper, and Super Dophilus. Use enough so your digestive tract calms down. If you have food sensitivities and eating out is a challenge, use 2-3 capsules of Digestive Helper with each meal. Extra Quercetin or Repair Plus can be helpful too with food challenges.

If you are a light sleeper, new environments often add challenges to sleep and travel. Sleep support may include Sleep Helper, RelaxaMag, Melatonin, and TriCal. Some individuals may need to work on histamine management or help the nervous system relax. Additional support may include Quercetin, Vitamin D, Daily DHA, and/or PhosphatidylSerine later in the day and at bedtime.

Additional resources:

Self-Care Tips for Immune System Empowerment

Taming the Mind at Night: Help for Insomnia

Minerals Needed for Quality Sleep

Bromelain for Body Repair, Gluten and Biofilm Breakdown

Summer is a season filled with adventure and play for many. With those pleasurable escapes and playing and working hard come bumps and bruises – literally and figuratively. We want to make sure you stay healthy and recovery quickly. We hope you enjoy your summer!

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