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Summertime Nutrition Tips

Summertime Nutrition Tips

Its summertime and the living might be easy until you realize the havoc that fun in the sun has caused to your body. Luckily, summer also brings a lot of nutritious and tasty foods, such as berries (rich in antioxidants), sweet bell peppers (good source of vit C), tomatoes and protein-filled plates like grilled fish. And by choosing the right ingredients to add to your daily diet, you can help prevent or lessen the following common hot-weather woes:

Yeast Infections:
What causes them: Staying a wet bathing suit provides a perfect environment for yeast overgrowth.
What to eat: Cutting back on sugary foods can make conditions less hospitable for yeast to take hold in the first place.

Parched Hair:
What causes it: Saltwater, overexposure to sun and chlorine.
What to eat: Hair consists of protein fibers called keratin. Add protein rich meal to your diet like tossing some burgers or shrimp kabobs on the grill, or making salads with beans. Eating foods rich in vitamin B-5 which is found in yogurt, vitamin B-8 found in liver and cooked eggs, folic acid found in fortified cereals and beans, calcium found in milk and yogurt, and zinc found in meat and fish can replace dull hair with shiny hair and reduce hair loss. These nutrients also help in maintaining healthy skin.

Muscle Cramps:
What causes them: Too many outdoor exercises such as games of beach volleyball can cause muscle cramps, which result from dehydration and overexertion. Not having enough fluids in your system, leads to an electrolyte imbalance that causes your muscles to cramp up. Potassium, sodium, and calcium are the main electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise.
What to eat: Refill your body with electrolytes through sports drinks that contain them and drink water plus include potassium-rich foods like bananas, potatoes, raisins and spinach.

Eye Damage:
What causes it: The most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 55 is age-related macular degeneration which occurs when the central part of the retina becomes damaged.
What to eat: Since the retina is actually made up of vitamin A, foods rich in this vitamin along with zinc, beta-carotene, and vitamins C and E are beneficial to the eyes. Food sources are dark green vegetables like kale, chard, bell peppers, carrots, and blueberries. Consume eggs for their high content of lutein, an important antioxidant that helps in preventing eye damage.

Damaged or Dry Skin:
What causes it: You sweat more in the summer, so your skin becomes less elastic; plus, chlorine and saltwater have a drying effect. Sunburns and bug bites can also ruin a healthy skin.
What to eat: Heal your weather-beaten skin with foods like blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, which are rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. Add also protein into your diet, in the form of lean meats, beans, nuts, and seeds. Avoid dryness at the beach by drinking lots of water. Since calcium can also be lost through sweating, try to replace it by eating low-fat dairy products such as yogurt, skim milk and cottage cheese.

Cold Sores:
What causes them: Being exposed to sun can trigger cold sores in people who are prone to them.
What to eat: A deficiency in riboflavin and B vitamins can make you susceptible to cold sores. That is why go for fortified cereals and bread to avoid deficiencies.

Christelle Bedrossian
Beirut, Lebanon



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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian