Thursday, October 9, 2008

Preventing Summer Woes - Healthy Skin

Taking care of your skin health is not easy, especially when you are person who wants to go out all the time. It’s summertime! And for many people, especially kids, it’s a holiday season to be spent outdoors and heading toward the local pool, a lake or the beach. Living seems all fun and easy until you realize the havoc all that fun in the sun has wrought on your body, most specially, the skin.

Summer makes you sweat more so that the skin becomes less supple. In addition, saltwater and chlorine can have a drying effect on the skin. Not to mention sunburns and bug bites which can also sabotage healthy skin.

But the good news is, summer also brings an abundance of tasty and nutritious foods, including berries which are loaded with antioxidants, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers which are a good source of vitamin C, and protein-filled grilled fish and burgers. You can simply choose the right ones to add to your daily diet to help prevent or alleviate the following common hot-weather woes.

Antioxidants, vitamin C, and protein can help a lot in healing weathered skin. Keep dryness at bay by drinking lots of water, “the forgotten nutrient.” The American Dietetic Association recommends that women drink 92 ounces (8-10 cups) of water in the summer and men 125 ounces to prevent dehydration. Since calcium can also be lost through sweating, it’s a good idea to replace it by eating low-fat dairy products like skim milk, yogurt, and cottage cheese.

Along with summer comes yeast infections. Sitting around in wet bathing suit provides a perfect environment for yeast overgrowth. Cut back on sugary foods to make conditions less hospitable for yeast to take hold in the first place. However, once you’ve got an infection, be sure to eat lots of yogurt, the kind that contains live, active cultures.

Overexposure to sun, saltwater, and chlorine may cause parched hair. So be sure to eat lots of foods rich in vitamin B-5 (found in yogurt and California avocadoes), vitamin B-8 (in liver and cooked eggs), folic acid (in fortified cereals and beans), calcium (in milk and yogurt), and zinc (in meat and fish). These nutrients can help reduce hair loss and replace dull hair with shiny hair. So, go ahead and toss some burgers or shrimp kabobs on the grill, or make a three-bean salad or other protein-rich meal because hair consists of protein fibers called keratin, in addition to maintaining healthy skin.

Be careful not to play too much of beach volleyball or other outdoor exercise. Overexertion and dehydration may cause muscles cramps. Lack of fluid in the system leads to an electrolyte imbalance and causes muscles to cramp up. Sodium, calcium, and potassium are the main electrolytes lost through sweating during exercise and physical activities.

You may replenish these electrolytes with a sports drink that contains them and drink a lot of water. Potassium-rich foods include bananas, raisins, potatoes, and spinach.
While age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 55, the sun can aggravate the condition. This occurs when the central part of the retina (macula) becomes damaged.

Since the retina is actually made up of vitamin A, foods rich in this vitamin, along with beta-carotene, zinc, and Vitamins C and E, are beneficial to the eyes. Good sources are dark green vegetables like kale, chard, and mustard greens, plus bell peppers, carrots, and blueberries. Eat eggs for their high dose of lutein, an important antioxidant that also helps prevent eye damage. - health provider

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