The Importance of Eating Healthy in the Summer
For many people, summer is a season where everything changes: activities, mood, and even our diet. Most, if not all, people start to relax a bit during this time of the year when it comes to food. They begin eating more sugar, snacking more throughout the day, drinking more alcohol, etc. But it’s important to learn about the importance of eating healthy in the summer. After all, the season will end but the consequences of a bad diet will stay with you for longer.
The truth is that nutrition is imperative no matter what time of the year it is. This doesn’t mean you have to be strict and can’t have fun once in a while; it’s all about balance. Here are some keys to eating healthy in the summer.
Why paying attention to your diet in the summer is essential
The summertime is a season that everyone wants to enjoy to the fullest. It’s probably the season people look forward to most; plenty of hours of sunshine, good weather, vacations, fun plans with friends and family… In order to fully take advantage of all these things, keeping a healthy diet is key.
Now, all the fun things we just mentioned can also bring some negative consequences. For example, fewer hours of rest, more skin damage, and an increase in snacking between meals with friends or family. A healthy diet in the summer is essential to ensure well-being. Let’s expand on this a bit more.
Risk of dehydration
Some people downplay the importance of staying hydrated. The truth is that without hydration, there can’t be well-being. However, it’s important to pay attention to the quantity and quality of liquids that you drink throughout the day, as not all liquids are healthy. This becomes even more relevant in summer, as weather conditions can lead to the risk of dehydration.
To help the body replace the fluids it loses, try and promote the following habits:
- Drink fluids often. Whenever you feel thirsty, don’t hesitate to grab a refreshing, healthy drink.
- Speaking of healthy drinks, go for water, sparkling water, or herbal teas.
- Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol. These, in fact, can promote dehydration.
- Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, which also contain fluids. The fruits that provide the most water are watermelon, melon, grapes, strawberries, peaches, and papaya.
Risk of skin damage
The skin is one of the largest organs in the body – it’s basically the barrier that protects you against external aggressions. In the summer, there’s a much higher chance of developing skin issues due to the temperature rise.
In general, this is due to the fact that the skin is usually less warm and, during this season, there’s more contact with harmful agents such as UV rays, temperature changes, salt, and chlorine in swimming pools.
Now, a healthy diet can also improve the health and appearance of the skin. In fact, a study published in the Nutrients journal states that healthy eating habits reduce the risk of aging and mitigate the harmful effects the sun can have on the skin.
What foods should you prioritize if you want to take care of your skin? Undoubtedly, those that contain the most vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Let’s see some examples.
- Nuts and seeds
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Orange, red, or yellow fruits
- Fresh vegetables, especially greens
- Lean meats and fish
Quality over quantity
Some research has shown that people tend to eat less when it’s hot and humid outside. This means that, if you’re going to consume less food during the summer, it’s imperative that the foods you do consume are healthy for you. In this way, focus on nutritious foods and forget about those that are highly caloric.
- Foods that provide lots of nutrients: nuts, fruits, fresh vegetables, fish, eggs, legumes, and whole grains.
- On the other hand, salty snacks, ready meals, pastries, white bread, or energy drinks are highly caloric. Sugar and refined flours can have a place in your diet, but not excessively. It’s about moderation.
Keeping a healthy diet must be part of your routine
As you probably know, it’s more than common to become lazier during the summer. This time of the year is associated with relaxing, fun, and vacation, which can make your sleeping and eating schedule a total mess. Also, the food and drinks you consume may change completely because of this, too.
As we said in the beginning, going into the summer with no discipline in regards to your diet may bring you serious consequences that you’ll have to face throughout the rest of the year. It may be difficult for you to readapt to a healthy lifestyle, and you may even face issues related to depression. To avoid this, it’s best to try and maintain the same routines in terms of diet and schedule.
Eating healthy in the summer, both inside and outside the house
Keeping a healthy diet in summer also means trying to avoid infections and possible food poisoning at all costs. As stated by the Spanish Food Safety and Nutrition Agency, people tend to get more food poisoning during this time. The reason for this is related to everything we’ve been talking about: no rules, more relaxation, fewer worries, more desire to break the routine.
Additionally, the increase in temperature also makes people want to eat out more often. Minimizing this risk is possible, especially when some security measures are put in place.
- Maintain proper hand hygiene. Make sure the place where you’re handling the food is clean before, during, and after cooking.
- Separate raw food from cooked food.
- Don’t eat perishable foods that have been stored at room temperature.
- Cook as early as possible, and refrigerate the food right away.
- When eating out, make sure you do so somewhere you know is safe and clean.
Eating healthy in the summer
The importance of eating healthy in the summer goes beyond food itself. You must also pay attention to your routines, food hygiene measures, as well as hydration.
Of course, you can’t forget about fresh and nutritious food. Again, focus on them and get rid of those that, although delicious, can bring you negative consequences later on. All of this in moderation, of course. You can consume sugar but not in excess. Take care of your body – help it function well and prevent diseases.