Gearing Up for Summer

Summer is the hottest season of the year. Some of us may like the summers, however, it also means heat, lots of sweating, dryness, skin problems like tan, sun burns, pimples, heat rashes, blemishes and much more.

Exposure to sun certainly helps in healing certain diseases, it also allows vitamin D to bind calcium to the bones, but overexposure to sun and ultraviolet rays especially in summers can also be very harmful and the reason for sunburns and dehydration. Extra precautions are required to protect oneself against the heat and the sun.

Few tips to protect your-self against the Sun:

  1. Use Sunscreen
  2. Use Sunglasses
  3. Wear loose-fitting and light colour, preferably cotton clothing.
  4. Sun rays are the harshest in noon. If possible try to avoid direct sun exposure between 11 am and 4 pm.
  5. Cover up, keep clothing on with sleeves down and collars up, wear hat or a cap.
  6. Hot showers after sun exposure further dry the skin. Hence, take cool shower after excess sweating that helps keep the skin unblocked, and decreases acne breakouts.

Power food & beverages:

Just using a good sunscreen or external safety is not enough in summer. Its equally important to be hydrated with intake of appropriate food and beverages.

  1. Drink lots of liquids to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. Do not wait until you feel like you need a drink. Thirst is not a reliable sign that your body needs fluids. Water is the best drink to replace lost fluids.
  2. Try and use boiled water for drinking.
  3. When you exercise, you should take small sips of liquid rather than large drinks.
  4. Try and reduce intake of alcohol and beverages with caffeine content as they may speed up the fluid loss.
  5. Ensure oral intake of vitamins C and Vitamin A as it can limit potential for sunburn. A salad with vitamin C rich foods, citrus, berries, tomato, and vitamin E rich nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts is an ideal meal.
  6. Include Mango as it is rich in betacarotene, and acts as a natural sunscreen.
  7. Papaya is also a rich source of Vitamin A with a great sun protective action.

Protection against foodborne illnesses:

Foodborne illness peaks in the summer, because bacteria that are present throughout the environment grow faster in the warm summer months. Its important to be protected against these illnesses:

  1. Wash your hands frequently, especially when preparing food.
  2. Avoid cut and peeled roadside fruits, raw vegetables and meat which are pre-exposed to flies.
  3. Avoid eating cut fruit or vegetable salads as we are unsure when it was cut.
  4. Partial cooking of food allows bacteria to survive and multiply to the point that subsequent cooking cannot destroy them. Hence, cook food completely and at safe temperatures.
  5. Refrigerate the food promptly if you need to utilise it later.

If you suspect you have a foodborne illness and are experiencing diarrhea, high fever, blood in stools, prolonged vomiting, severe dehydration, please see a doctor for medical advice.

We cannot stop the summer from coming but we must take precautions to protect ourselves when it arrives. Stay safe this summer.

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