There’s a lot of emphasis put on taking supplements in the autumn and winter months. But it’s just as important to keep up your supplement intake in the summer.
Read on to find out how certain supplements can help you or your loved ones with summertime health concerns. So that you can continue to enjoy the longer days, holidays, sun and al fresco dining.
One of the best things about summer is the sun but not the sunburn. We know we need adequate vitamin D which we get from the sunlight on the skin when outdoors. If you’ve spent too long in the sun, or have sensitive skin and have been sunburned, then taking antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Beta carotene and lycopene can help to repair and heal your skin.
- Vitamin C aids in the skin’s natural regeneration process aiding in repairing damaged skin cells. Our skin contains extremely high levels of vitamin C which is essential to produce collagen which is a protein and comprises of 75-80% of our skin.
- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent in the skin. It works to protect you from free radicals and retain moisture and supports the prevention of inflammatory damage after UV exposure.
- Beta carotene, found in vegetables such as carrots and butternut squash, is a precursor to vitamin A which has multiple benefits for the skin, the eyes, cell renewal and organ health. It boosts the production of melanin found in the skin. Melanin helps protect the cells of the epidermis or the outer layer of the skin from UV light.
- Lycopene is known as phytochemical and is important because it acts as an antioxidant in our body. What’s great about lycopene is that it is very efficient at destroying free radicals that roam throughout the body. As a result, it helps fight cell damage. In particular inflammation from UV rays.
Healthy hair and skin
- B vitamin called Biotin is necessary for the maintenance of normal skin, hair and nail growth. Found in foods like egg yolks, legumes and bananas it supports your skin, nerves, digestive tract, and metabolism.
- Omega 3 Essential fatty acids are essential for skin and hair health. We cannot make omega 3 in the body so it must be sourced from foods such as oily fish (omega-3), nuts and seeds (omega-6). The two main omega-3 fatty acids are docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Omega-3 consumption is particularly low in the UK with the average person eating less than half the daily recommended amount and good quality oily fish. Therefore, supplementing is the best way to make sure you have adequate levels.
With longer action-packed days, the summertime can leave you feeling tired.
Making sure you’re eating a well-balanced diet along with good quality supplements can keep you going on those long summer days and help you transition into the autumn months.
- Ashwagandha is a great adaptogen herb in a supplement form used to tone, support, and revitalise all bodily functions. It has been revered over time for its dual capacity to energise and calm at the same time. When taken in the morning, Ashwagandha creates energy for the day ahead, yet at the same time calms down a hyper and overactive nervous system. Therefore it adjusts to what your body needs at the time.
- Magnesium in the form of magnesium malate is needed to produce energy at the cellular level. Without enough magnesium, our mitochondria ( membrane-bound cell organelles that generate most of the chemical energy needed to power the cell’s biochemical reactions) struggle to produce energy, while the malate helps speed up energy production. With the high bioavailability of magnesium malate, you can put both compounds to work quickly to help balance your energy production.
- Quercetin is a powerful antihistamine for hay fever sufferers. Foods that provide reasonable amounts of quercetin include onions, apples, red grapes, garlic, broccoli, red-purple berries and fresh dill. Quercetin strengthens the small blood vessels and has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits making it ideal to manage hay fever symptoms. It’s necessary to take supplements as well as consume a diet rich in quercetin to obtain these anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory benefits. Supplementing with quercetin is particularly recommended for allergies, whether digestion-related or respiratory- such as asthma and hay fever, as well as for eczema and urticaria.
Vitamin B1, known as thiamine, helps in deterring insect bites. The most common deficiencies are B1, B6 and B12, which is often a reason why some people are more prone to insect bites than others. People who have a wide and varied diet of foods and sufficient gut health do not usually need to supplement all the B-vitamins. Those who have limited diets like vegetarians and vegans may benefit from a B-complex vitamin. B-complex generally contains all 8 which are B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, B3 – niacin, B5 – pantothenic acid, B6 – pyridoxine, B7 – biotin, B9 – folate, and B12 – cobalamin.
It’s important to take caution if you have been bitten in countries where insects carry specific diseases such as malaria. Protect your skin with appropriate insect repellents and where necessary sleep inside an insect-proof net. Insects tend to be most active at night, particularly in foreign countries.
If you would like some guidance on nutrition and supplements to support your health, you should speak with a healthcare professional or a registered Nutritionist such as Neha.
Author: Neha Deol DipCNM