Many people believe that taking nutrients is only important during the winter, as that is when the body is perhaps at its weakest. However, the body does still need its nutrients throughout the year, especially in the summer to help with energy, metabolism, hydration and to prevent damage to the skin and hair in the hot weather.
Whether you decide to take supplements or you want to consume all the nutrients you need through diet alone, being conscious of your nutrient intake is as important as ever over the summer months. The priorities are vitamin A, C, E, zinc and potassium, which we will look into further!
Firstly, we have vitamin A, an important restorative vitamin that can help to support the hair, nails and teeth whilst they are most vulnerable. During the summer, the hair, teeth and nails are likely to be weaker than throughout the rest of the year, as the nails and hair are exposed to more water than at other times, and the teeth are probably exposed to more sugary foods and drinks.
Restorative vitamins like vitamin A will not only help with this, but it will also help to keep you generally feeling healthier, as it plays an important role in the immune system, fighting illness and infections. Vitamin A is found in plenty of different vegetables, including broccoli, carrots, red peppers and watermelon, as well as cheese, eggs and yoghurt.
A great way to get a good boost of vitamin A is to make a smoothie with mango, papaya, nectarine and yoghurt, making a delicious and creamy snack that will keep you cool during the summer, whilst also keeping you healthy.
Everyone knows that taking vitamin C in the winter months is important, as it plays a direct role in supporting the immune system, which needs slightly more support from October through to April. However, vitamin C is just as important during the summer months, as that is a common period for infections like rhinotracheitis as people are mingling frequently whilst enjoying the warmer months!
So, make sure you don’t forget about your vitamin C intake during the summer, especially if you are pregnant, a smoker or recovering from surgery, as during these times, the body is particularly more susceptible to a weakened immune system. Vitamin C tablets are easily accessible and taking supplements is the best way to guarantee you are consuming the right dosage. You can also access this essential vitamin through citrus fruits, peppers, berries and green vegetables.
Another essential vitamin for the summer months is vitamin E, known for its role as an antioxidant. It is particularly important during the summer compared to other times of the year, as it can protect the skin from the harmful effects that the sun can have by reducing UV damage. Although this is in no way a replacement for SPF, it can help to protect the body slightly, as well as slowing the effect of ageing on the face and skin.
Aside from taking vitamin E supplements, you can also find the vitamin in vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Having plenty of healthy salads with homemade salad dressings and seeds will help you to up your vitamin E intake.
The hair can dry out significantly in the sun during the summer months, causing long lasting damage in some cases that can only be reversed by having the hair cut, or with expensive treatments in the salon. Once the protein structure of the hair is broken down, it is hard to regain it, so taking zinc is important to keep the hair as healthy and strong as possible. Prevention is always better than cure, so taking supplements before any damage occurs is the best way forward.
Aside from helping to keep the hair as healthy as possible, the antioxidant properties in zinc can also function in a similar way to vitamin E, helping to protect the body against the harmful effects the sun can have.
During the summer, it is far easier for us to get dehydrated, as often we are preoccupied so drink fewer fluids, whilst also sweating more often than in the winter due to warmer temperatures. When you are sweating more, the body loses a lot of its supply of potassium, a mineral that is essential in order to maintain a healthy fluid balance within the body. A combination of dehydration and a lack of potassium can actually be very dangerous for the body.
Without sufficient levels of potassium, the nerves and muscles in the body will not function properly, which in turn will have an impact on the heart and blood pressure. So, making sure you consume enough potassium, either through the diet or through supplementation, is key to keeping you healthy and will help to make sure that you keep the body’s supply of potassium at the level it should be.
So, there you have it! Taking vitamins during the summer months is just as important as the winter, perhaps even more so in some areas. Protecting the skin, hair and immune system, as well as maintaining levels of vital minerals that are lost when the body is dehydrated, will help to keep you feeling happy and healthy all year round.