Recharge your batteries!
You can utilise the summer sunlight to boost your energy - as long as you eat your greens!
There seems to be no end to the list of benefits of dark green, leafy veg - and just in case you need another reason, here it is: a recent study showed that animal cells are capable of producing energy in the presence of chlorophyll, similar to the processes generated by plants.
Fire Element, the Heart and Small Intestine
In Chinese Medicine, Summer is associated with the Fire phase and the Heart. The main functions of the Heart are considered to be housing the spirit, and pumping oxygen rich blood around the body. Just as in the summer the sun spreads warmth and light over the Earth, the Heart pumps warm nourishing blood throughout the body.
When the Heart blood is deficient, the spirit does not have a good resting place and there can be symptoms of restlessness, anxiety and insomnia. A disorder of the Heart organ can also affect communication and speech resulting in stutters, manic talking or disjointed thinking.
TOP TIP #8 Vitamin C – embrace summer fruits!
Did you know that signs of vitamin C deficiency can be fatigue, muscle weakness, bleeding gums and leg rashes?
This vital vitamin serves many important functions in the body including to repair and regenerate tissues, protecting against heart disease, supporting immune function, aiding the absorption of iron and producing collagen, which is essential for improving skin elasticity giving the skin a healthy glow for the summer, while also reducing the appearance of cellulite!
TOP TIP #7 Green leaves
In Chinese Medicine, the taste that resonates with summertime and the fire element is ‘bitter’. Bitter foods can clear heat from the body.
Examples include many of the salad leaves that are around at this time of year - lettuce, rocket, mustard leaf, and other bitter green vegetables.
TOP TIP #6 Yang energy
The sun is the symbol of summer - light and heat.
In Chinese Medicine, summertime is thought to be the season to strengthen our Yang energies, so we need to absorb as much warmth and light from the sun as possible.
TOP TIP #5 Rose Water
Another handy herbal item to carry with you during hot summer days is rose water.
When sourcing your rose water make sure to get a good product which does not have any additives or preservatives. True aromatic waters are produced through a distillation process, similar to the one that produces essential oils. They are very rich in their action as they contain most of the oil components, as well as some of the lighter water soluble compounds that you would usually find in a water extraction.
TOP TIP #4 Lavender
While most of us love staying outdoors during the summer months, we could do without the frequent annoyance of insect bites.
Fortunately, Lavender essential oil is considered a great bug repellent that can be applied on exposed skin when outside.
TOP TIP #3 Aloe Vera
Keep an aloe plant handy in case of sunburns, rashes and insect bites.
Aloe vera is a succulent plant, easy to care for and very versatile. It has been used for hundreds of years topically as a cooling wound healer and internally for a variety of digestive complaints.
TOP TIP #2 Mint leaf
Mint leaf is well known for its cooling effect in the body and is perfect for the summer months.
Used internally to reduce bloating, relax smooth muscle tissue in the digestive tract and to stimulate bile production, it can be enjoyed as a tea or added to juices, smoothies, salads and wraps. For more info on research & trials read here.
Here at Be Well London we are welcoming in the summer with another round of our seasonal top tips.
The summer season is the time when the body can stock up on vital vitamin D and increase neurotransmitter levels. It is also the time for holidays and the chance to unwind. However, the season can also bring its challenges, such as the potential negative impacts of the sun including oxidative stress, dehydration, sunburn, overheating, insect bites and so on.
PROTECT YOURSELF FROM THE INSIDE OUT - EDIBLE SUN PROTECTION!
Beta-carotene & Vitamin A
Beta-carotene is found in all yellow, orange, red foods and has been shown to prevent DNA mutations triggered by sun exposure. Carrots, sweet potatoes and red peppers are therefore essential for your sun protection diet.
Beta carotene converts to vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is essential for protecting skin from damaging sun rays. However, not everyone can convert Beta Carotene into Vitamin A and it might be beneficial to add some foods naturally high in retinol such as cod liver oil and animal livers.