Summer Health and Fitness Guide

June 30 2015

With the warm evenings and the beautiful sunshine days, this is the perfect time of year to pay attention to your health and wellbeing. Your body will naturally begin to cleanse and renew during the early months of summer, so why not give it a helping hand?

Natural Body Cleansing

Your liver is central to the cleansing process. During the colder winter months we tend to eat larger meals that are richer in fats and proteins, so this is the time of year to give your liver a chance to rest and recuperate with lighter, fresher meal choices.

Water is the key to the health of your entire body, including the liver. If you have enough water in your system it can help you to get rid of toxins more effectively. This is particularly important if the weather is warm and you’re losing water through sweat. The NHS recommends that women should drink at last 1.6 litres of water every day, and men 2.0 litres. You can also help your liver and your overall health by reducing the amount of caffeine and alcohol you consume. Both coffee and alcohol act as diuretics, dehydrating the body.

Your Summer Menu

Summer is a great time of year to start eating more fruit and vegetables. There are plenty of delicious, brightly coloured fresh produce items available and all of them offer you a range of antioxidant benefits.

If possible, visit a local green grocer or farmers market to buy good quality leafy greens, strawberries, oranges and dates, all of which are in season. From sprouts to beans to broccoli, the variety of fast growing green vegetables on our shelves at this time of year is vast and perfect to make raw & nutritious dishes.

We spoke to Kate Skerritt, Director at Pod food and a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. She recommended getting extra health benefits by adding fresh, seasonal herbs such as basil, chives, dill, garlic or thyme to your food. “Experiment with using them at breakfast over yoghurt or in low-sugar smoothies.”

Kate recommends challenging yourself to learn about new ways of using these ingredients. “Try some summer soup recipes, nourishing well-dressed flavourful salads or colour rich stir fries for a nutritious spread of healthy bites. At pod we’ve developed a ‘Go Green’ salad which really packs the in vitamins and we’ve used and we’ve used basil to naturally flavour or New Lebanese Red Pepper soup.”

boost-soup

Enjoy the Sun

With lighter evenings and warmer mornings, summer is the time of year to head outdoors. Why not consider starting an outdoor fitness routine? Try jogging in the park or opt for something more calming and less strenuous with a gentle outdoor yoga routine.

Alongside exercise, take time to rest and relax. Stress is a big factor in a variety of illnesses. When you’re stressed your immune system is not able to function optimally, so taking the time to unwind can be very beneficial to your health.

There’s an extra benefit to getting out in the sun for a few hours too: Vitamin D. The number of children suffering with Vitamin D deficiency has tripled in the last 5 years, but you can make the essential vitamin in your own body simply by spending a little time in the sun. Protect your skin and never risk burning or sun damage, but remember that a little sunlight can be a big help in supplying your body with the Vitamin D it needs to keep your bones strong and healthy.

Supplements for Summer

Help your body to detoxify naturally with dandelion and milk thistle supplements. They help the liver to heal and can also strengthen and protect, to keep it strong and healthy and ready to cleanse your system.