The Healthy Side of Summer

When you think of summer, you probably think of suntans, sunshine and some good old-fashioned backyard barbeques. There’s no denying it’s a great season, but it also comes inherent with risks that we read about every day, from sunscreen ads to articles on skin protection and eye health.

And while these are vital to keep in mind, we love to think about the healthy, fun side of summer. Once your skin and eyes are well protected, summer brings with it some massive opportunities to improve your health (and life!).

Check out some of our favorite parts of the healthy side of the season.

The seasonal fruit

Peaches. Strawberries. Watermelons (and more!) Summer is full of vitamins and pure deliciousness. Here’s a quick list of some key summer fruits and veggies we’re digging into as we write, and why you should too:

  •      Peaches: They’re chock full of vitamins and minerals that protect eye tissue inside and out, and translate to better vision. They’re also high in potassium, which helps the body function properly and maintains electrolyte balance. Some research also suggests potassium may be important for cancer prevention. Peach pie, anyone?
  •      Strawberries: Vitamin C is vital for preventing and treating infections, skin problems and eye conditions like glaucoma and cataracts. And these summer treats have a lot of it. Eight strawberries, in fact, contain a greater amount of Vitamin C than oranges do!
  •      Watermelon: This summertime favorite is full of antioxidants (like Vitamin C and Lycopene) that fight off free radicals in the skin and body. This is always important, but especially so if you’ve had a bit too much sun. Watermelon also curbs inflammation, which may be beneficial in preventing some diseases. And a super summer-specific benefit? Watermelon is nearly all water, so can help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The sun (in moderation)

Did you know that when the sun hits our skins, it creates Vitamin D? This essential vitamin supports a healthy immune system, brain and nervous system, as well as healthy bones and teeth. And while it’s always recommended to wear sunscreen or protect your skin with the right clothing, Vitamin D can’t be created under such conditions. But that doesn’t mean you should soak in the sun unprotected for very long. A good rule of thumb for Vitamin D-producing skin-sun exposure is to stay out no longer than half the time it would take for you to get sunburned. By that time, you’ll likely have produced anywhere from 10,000 to 25,000 IU of Vitamin D.

The activities

Summertime activities are all about the outdoors and offer more than good fun. With massive benefits for your heart and mind, summer fun is pretty serious business. Check out these healthy benefits of some of our favorite summer activities: Kayaking. Or swimming. Or cycling. Or fishing. Or tennis. Or walking on the boardwalk.

The vacations

Vacations (and day-cations!) are an important aspect of good health. But in the U.S., workers are notorious for skipping out on their vacation days. While you may really, really love to work, taking time to step away from the computer and enjoy the day (or the week!) will help you be more productive and healthier in the long-run.

What are your favorite parts of summer? Share this blog (and your favorite parts of summer) with everyone you know so they can enjoy the season and feel their best too.

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