Vitamins and Minerals in the Summer Months

Fruits Vitamins and Minerals A large selection of fruits and vegetables, rich in vitamins and minerals, helps us to be healthier in the summer months. Eating whole fruits and vegetables is best as the protective skins often holds a high nutrient content at the same time as serves to protect the delicious inside.

During the summer it is advised that we increase our intake of foods rich in beta carotene (provitamin A). Beta carotene is actually a herbal pigment that the human body can convert into vitamin A. It is extremely important throughout the year, and in summer it helps to achieve a balance to skin tanning, stimulates pigmentation, as well as helps to maintain the desired tan for a long time. Additionally, beta carotene is an antioxidant that helps to maintain normal function of the immune system, builds resistance to infection, and prevents inflammation.

Beta-Carotene Beta carotene reduces the negative effects of sunlight and protects the skin by helping to synthesize the pigment melanin; a natural "defense of the skin". It also, among other things, reduces the incidence of allergic reactions to the sun. To ensure we are getting enough beta carotene in our diets, it is suggested we consume plenty of the vitamin-rich foods such as cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and peppers. It is also suggested that these foods are increased for approximately three to four weeks before sunbathing to create this natural safeguard.

Vitamin C is required for synthesis and renewal of the binding agent of the skin, collagen creatinine. Just like vitamin A, vitamin C is also a strong antioxidant that works to protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals and prevents and slows the aging process. Foods rich in these vitamins include peppers, tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, parsley (leaf), citruses (lemons, oranges), Orange Juice Vitamin-Cberries, cherries, watermelons, peaches, and pomegranates (dried). This vitamin is extremely sensitive to elevated temperatures, air and light, so it’s easily lost by storage and thermal treatments (food cooking). In order to protect the nutrients within our food it is important to choose fresh, seasonal, and raw fruits and vegetables, and when we cook them, limit the temperature and cooking duration.

Vitamins B complex and magnesium often referred to as protectors of the epithelium of the skin and mucous membranes, especially vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), which is known as a fighter against problematic skin. This vitamin promotes the growth of new cells, helps to conserve moisture, is a natural protector against sunburn, and is an integral part of many skin creams and lotions and shampoos for hair. Foods rich in B vitamins are advised throughout the year, including the summer. They are found in grains, milk, fish and meat, dairy products, legumes, and nuts. Kefir, for example, when standing for a longer time, smells of yeast because it is rich in B vitamins.

Vitamins B and magnesium help regulate high blood sugar levels and are strongly advised to diabetics. Before starting a vitamin and mineral supplement, consult a professional, to help target exactly what your body requires or is lacking.

Minerals are also very important to our health, particularly magnesium and potassium, which are easily depleted through sweating. These two minerals are key elements in our cardiovascular health.

Magnesium, which affects muscle tone and elasticity of blood vessels, is important for the proper function of muscles and the nervous system. It is also essential for calcium metabolism. For feelings of fatigue, malaise, poor peripheral circulation, and harder adaptation to sudden changes in weather, it is advisable to take magnesium supplements in amounts of 300 mg per day, preferably in the afternoon.

Potassium is found in vegetables such as tomatoes, lettuce, kale, cabbage, and cauliflower, and fruits such as apples, pears, and bananas. Apple Cider Vinegar is a rich source of potassium.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of these minerals. Dehydration (caused by insufficient fluid intake and/ or heat exposure) accelerates the lack of potassium and magnesium. Diarrhea and vomiting are both symptoms of the body over heating and both further contribute to the loss of these two important minerals. Extra caution is also required with drugs such as diuretics, laxatives, and corticosteroids.

The summer should be enjoyed but it is necessary to know how help our bodies to adapt to the weather. In order to assist our body and to avoid discomfort and disease which can be triggered or worsened by high temperatures, take full advantage of the ample supplies of fresh fruits and vegetables in season. Everyone needs a rest. Holidays allow us to relax, have fun, socialize with friends, or simply to enjoying nature. Generally, the summer should allow us to enjoy a slower pace so we can rejuvenate ourselves. With the proper foods and cautions taken from the heat and sun we can relax, enjoy... and eat.

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