Michael’s Summer Survival Plan
Almost half the people in the UK still think that being brown is healthy. In fact, a suntan comes from damaged skin. Starting with dark, brown, or even black skin is not necessarily a protection either. The most important way of avoiding skin cancer during the summer is regular use of high factor sun screen, wearing a hat and loose fitting clothes and keeping out of the sun. Take special care to replace creams after swimming or excessive sweating. Keep children out of the sun and everyone out of the midday heat.
Foods containing vitamin A and beta-carotene help protect your skin and as everyone wants nice skin in the summer, eating foods rich in the essential nutrients is important. A low-fat diet mustn't mean NO fat. Omega 3 fatty acids from oily fish and unsaturated fatty acids from olive oil, nuts, seeds and avocadoes, with their vitamin E content, are essential skin nutrients.
B vitamins, from wholegrain cereals like oats, wheat and barley in good muesli; and beta-carotene, from fresh and dried apricots and berries; are all extremely valuable. If you have sensitive, dry skin, take two capsules of Evening Primrose Oil every day for three months.
Most families will normally spend more hours together during a two-week summer holiday than at any other time and this can be stressful. Make sure you include plenty of feel-good foods like basil, rosemary, lemon balm and nutmeg in your regular cooking. Also top up the nerve-strengthening B complex vitamins with extra meat, dairy products and eggs as well as all the wholegrain cereals, nuts and seeds. This is where the herb Hypericum can play a vital role. The Ancient Greeks called it the sunshine herb as it brought happiness into peoples lives.
Today, scientists know that St John's Wort, its common name, is a powerful mood enhancer and as effective for the treatment of mild to moderate depression as prescribed drugs, but without the side effects. Karma is a high strength, registered herbal medicine containing 425mg of St John's Wort per tablet.
Travelling itself can be a trial, so as well as the obvious wet wipes, tissues, games, tapes and DVDs to keep the kids happy, ward off the dreaded travel sickness with Crystallised Ginger cut into small cubes and dusted with icing sugar to stop them getting sticky. If children won't eat the ginger, use ginger biscuits or take a thermos of ginger tea sweetened with honey on the journey. Sea Bands use acupressure to prevent all types of nausea. They're extremely effective and available from all chemists.
Instead of high sugar sticky sweets and chocolate, give youngsters a mixture of dried cranberries, strawberries, blueberries and any others you can find.
Finally, to help prevent the all too common travellers' tum, eat plenty of garlic before you go. If you really don't like the taste you'll find garlic pills at any health store or chemist. Make sure you have a daily pot of live yoghurt as this natural probiotic protects the digestive system.
Some of my books...
- Superfoods, Superjuices, Superhealth
- Eat Well Live Longer
- Superfood Pocketbook
(100 Top Foods for Health)
- The Omega 3 Cookbook
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