Summer Health: Holiday Survival Guide
Author: ANCP Date Posted:26 May 2016
Summer holidays are a chance to put up your feet, relax and enjoy the festivities with family and friends. It’s a busy time of year with parties, gift shopping, late nights and often poor diet choices. Here are some tips to care for certain areas of your health that may be feeling the strain.
Stress can be minimised by taking extra time to prepare for stressful holiday events, such as Christmas gift shopping and Christmas dinner with the relatives. If you can, avoid travelling on public holidays to avoid congested roads which can increase stress levels. Allow 30 minutes relaxation time daily for yourself. Support your body’s stress response by supplementing with some key nutrients involved in the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands during times of stress. These include:
Your nervous system is likely to be left feeling frazzled some days, so you can support it with oats, a tonic herb that helps relax and rejuvenate the nervous system and passion flower, which calms the nervous system during times of stress.
Healthy eating plans can easily blow out when it comes to Christmas and the New Year. More socialising usually means overindulging in alcohol and party foods that wouldn’t normally be eaten. The result can be weight gain, hangovers and upset digestion. It can also be a time when people travel, either on family road trips or overseas. Here are a few tips to support your digestion:
- Milk Thistle – supports your digestion and liver, particularly when drinking alcohol and eating fatty, rich foods.
- Probiotic - probiotics help replenish healthy bowel flora, which can often become imbalanced from poor diet and when travelling.
- Chamomile – soothing for an upset tummy.
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water.
- Make smart food choices – choose fruit, cheese on crackers or unsalted nuts over chips, cakes and lollies.
- Ginger - If you experience car or motion sickness, try a ginger supplement or travel sickness wrist bands.
It is possible to catch a cold in summer, particularly with fans and air-conditioners cooling us down, late nights, stress and poor eating habits over summer. Here are some essential nutrients and herbs for a healthy immune system:
- Vitamin C & Zinc – are both needed for proper functioning of the immune system.
- Vitamin E - sufficient vitamin E helps the body maintain healthy immune function.
- Echinacea – is thought to stimulate the ‘non-specific’ activity of the immune system to support the cellular activity involved in fighting infections.
- Garlic – may help the immune system ward off colds and upper respiratory tract infections.
Greater exposure to the sun over summer warrants special care for your skin. Here are some tips:
- Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat and sunglasses to avoid sunburn.
- For dry, scaly skin, try take essential fatty acids such as flaxseed oil, drink 2L of water daily and use nourishing body butters.
- To minimise insect bites, burn citronella candles when outside and use a natural insect repellent.
With a little forward planning and natural products on hand, you can be healthy all summer long. Happy holidays!