5 tips on how to stay healthy this festive season
1. Stay hydratedYour body uses water to flush and eliminate toxins and other waste by-products out of the body via your lungs, skin, bladder, and bowel. Your body also utilises fluids by way of perspiration to help with temperature control. Internally water is also used to conduct electrical signals, form digestive fluids, lubricate joints and surround organs to protect them from injury, like the brain and spinal cord, acting as a cushion between the tissue and bone.
Staying well hydrated is even more important as we head into the summer holiday season. The warmer weather means you’re likely to be more active and perspire more to stay cool, and therefore deplete more fluid levels than you normally would in the cooler months. The Christmas holidays are also a typical time of the year when we might socialise and drink a little more alcohol than normal too. Alcohol is diuretic and causes you to visit the bathroom more often, and unless you’re topping up your water in between drinks you’re likely to have a hangover the next day - all thanks to dehydration. Signs of dehydration include headaches, tiredness, brain fog, dizziness, and even nausea, and are easily resolved once you get your hydration back in shape.
To stay well hydrated, keep your water intake up and your alcohol intake down. When socialising around alcohol, try having a soda spritzer with refreshing ingredients like cucumber, spearmint or mint, fruit juice, a splash of lemon, or kombucha. If you do want to have a celebratory drink alternate with water and lemon to keep your hydration up, and your liver happy.
2. Eat well to digest well
While long awaited summer fruits, and salad vegetables are more plentiful at this time of the year, the risk of over-indulging at end of year events is also prevalent. And then there’s Christmas day and beyond where we’re surrounded by rich, sugary, high-fat delicacies that even the most controlled and sensible of us is tempted to overindulge. Mixed with alcohol, great company, and fun conversation, our resolve to eat small can fly out the window as every hour passes.
Overindulging makes it pretty difficult to move and be active, the body just wants to lay down to rest and digest. More food going in doesn’t automatically mean your stomach will digest faster. This is because enzyme production doesn’t speed up according to how much you eat. So, all that extra food you ate remains in your stomach for longer until it can be processed and ready to enter your intestines – which is why you get what could be described as the “beached whale effect” (no offense to whales by the way). It’s that feeling where your stomach bulges out uncomfortably, you lose sight of your toes, you have no energy, and you just want to lay down and not move...for quite some time.
Taking a supplement such as Digestive Enzymes+ can help to aid your digestion of fats, carbohydrates, proteins and raw foods. Taking these on a daily basis will assist the healthy functioning of your digestive system, improve the absorption of beneficial nutrients in the food that you consume, and replace enzymes that have been lost in cooking.
3. Greens in between
Greens smoothies are a great way to have in between those indulgent days and nights. Maybe you just want to up the ante on your energy levels, or your post-Christmas (or New Year) detox program. Greens like spirulina, wheat grass, barley grass, and chlorella contain a wide array of nutrients, and in concentrated amounts. They’re super high in really absorbable protein as well as vitamins, minerals, chlorophyll, carotenoids, and antioxidants which all play an active role in energy production, skin health, natural detoxification processes, immune health, and more. Try Lifestream Spirulina Bioactive, it contains over 60 nutrients, all plant based and natural.
4. Keep up your antioxidant support
Antioxidants are a range of nutrients that offer protection from free radicals that can damage cells and compromise their function. Fried foods, alcohol, tobacco smoke, pesticides, chemicals and air pollutants cause free radicals to form, so are best avoided. It’s near impossible to avoid them, which is why antioxidants are an important part of your diet and supplement routine.
Vitamin C is a very well-known antioxidant that not only supports immune function, but also collagen production to help with skin aging, wound healing and tissue integrity throughout inside and out.
Omega 3 oils while commonly taken for their joint support benefits, also have antioxidant properties. They support your immune system with a healthy response to pain and inflammation, keeping skin supple and moisturised, and your brain function at its best.
As little as 15 minutes of sun on your skin each day is all you need to make enough Vitamin D – D is needed to support your immune, mood, and bone health. If you have darker skin or are a daily sunscreen user your Vitamin D levels might be a bit low. In the hot summer months as little as 6 - 8 minutes may be enough to get your levels up. If you want to get some sun for a bit of free Vitamin D take a walk with your face, arms and hands exposed, but when the sun is at its strongest - usually between 10am and 4pm – ensure you remain covered up and protected from burning with a good sunscreen.
In the summer skin can get a little dryer than normal as we spend more time outdoors, exposed to the natural elements, like air, sun, salt water, chlorine from the pool, and extra showers to cool off. Keeping your skin hydrated inside out is key. Eating good quality oils like olive, hemp, avocado and other cold pressed seed oils is a good way to do this. You can also supplement with a good quality Omega 3 supplement, choose a non-GMO plant-based oil for environmental and sustainability benefits. Keeping your water intake up helps to keep your skin plumped and fresh looking at the same time. On the outside use a good moisturiser that not only hydrates but helps to lock in moisture such as Lifestream Biogenic Aloe Vera Gel. Aloe Vera gel is known for its cooling and moisturising effect. Used topically, it helps to soothe hot, red skin complaints like burns, abrasions and sunburn. It helps to support collagen production and skin healing process, helping to reduce inflammation and scarring.