Summertime Nutrition Tips
All that abundant sunshine in the summer can cause dry skin and hair, eye damage, and other ailments. Find out which vitamins and minerals can counteract sun damage.
Summertime, and the living is easy -- that is, until you notice
the havoc all that fun in the sun has wrought on your body. Fortunately, summer
also brings an abundance of tasty and nutritious foods, including berries
(loaded with antioxidants), tomatoes, sweet bell peppers (good vitamin C
source), and protein-filled grilled fish and burgers. And by simply choosing
the right ones to add to your daily diet, you can help prevent or
alleviate the following common hot-weather woes:
Dry or Damaged Skin
What causes it: You sweat more in the summer, so skin is less supple; plus,
saltwater and chlorine have a drying effect. Sunburns and bug bites are also saboteurs of
What to eat: Help heal weathered skin with foods like
raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries, which are rich in antioxidants and
vitamin C. Protein, in the form of lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds, is also
key. Keep dryness at bay by drinking lots of water, which Lona Sandon, RD,
calls "the forgotten nutrient." Sandon is a spokeswoman for the
American Dietetic Association. She recommends that women drink 92 ounces (8-10
cups) of water in the summer and men 125 ounces to prevent dehydration. Since calcium can
also be lost through sweating, it's a good idea to replace it by eating low-fat
dairy products like skim milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese.
What causes them: Sitting around in a wet bathing suit provides
a perfect environment for yeast overgrowth.
What to eat: To make conditions less hospitable for yeast to
take hold in the first place, cut back on sugary foods, advises Leanne Ely,
CNC, author of Saving Dinner: The Menus, Recipes, and Shopping Lists to
Bring Your Family Back to the Table.
What causes it:Overexposure to sun, saltwater, and
What to eat:Toss some burgers or shrimp kabobs on the grill, or
make a three-bean salad or other protein-rich meal because hair consists of
protein fibers called keratin. Eating foods rich in vitamin B-5 (found in
yogurt and California avocadoes), vitamin B-8 (in liver and cooked eggs), folic
acid (in fortified cereals and beans), calcium (in milk and yogurt), and zinc
(in meat and fish) can reduce hair loss and replace dull hair with shiny hair.
Theses nutrients also play a role in maintaining healthy skin.
What causes them: Too many games of beach volleyball (or other
outdoor exercise). Muscle cramps result from overexertion and dehydration. When
you don't have enough fluid in your system, it leads to an electrolyte
imbalance that causes your muscles to cramp up. Sodium, calcium, and potassium
are the main electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise.
What to eat: Replenish electrolytes with a sports drink
that contains them and drink water. Potassium-rich foods include bananas,
raisins, potatoes, and spinach.