Caring for Your Body in Summer

This is the third in our series about taking care of your body during different seasons. Watch our Winter Care or Spring Care for your body.

Why do we talk about different support for our body in the seasons? Because the seasons are different and our bodies require different things. We require different foods and we have to pay attention to different things than in other seasons. 

The Sun

Summer for me is in the Western Hemisphere. It’s hot and the sun is out for a long time. Summer sun rays are much more direct and we have more sun exposure on our skin. This is great because those direct rays can help us make Vitamin D much easier than we can make in the middle of winter. However, we’ve also been taught to worry:

What about too much sun exposure?

Is it going to cause skin cancer? 

Is it going to cause damage?

Do I use sunscreen?

Am I going to get sunburned?

And those are great questions to ask!

The first thing to know is no matter your complexion, eating a lot of animal fat and minerals your body needs will nourish your skin. This means it will be less likely to burn, no matter your complexion. This is great news because it means that you can help your skin not burn even if you’re fair skinned! When the sun is hitting our skin cells, if they are nourished, they won’t be damaged as easily as if they are dehydrated, don’t have enough calcium in them or they don’t have enough fat soluble vitamins, especially Vitamin S.  When we have enough of those, our cells are resilient and when the sun’s rays come, it doesn’t damage them.

The UV rays and other particles from the sun are very helpful to us. They help us detoxify our cells and body, energize our cells, and make Vitamin D when they meet cholesterol in our skin. This is also why it’s so important to eat animal fats. Vitamin D doesn’t just magically appear when the sun hits our skin – our body needs the cholesterol to complete the process.

This does not mean we can just immediately go out into the sun all day right away. We need to help our skin work up to it and get used to being in the sun. We need the melanin to come with our tan. Pay attention to if you are spending too much time in the sun – more time than you’re used to or you’re able to tolerate. Boating or spending time on water also requires more sun awareness than if you’re just playing in a grassy field. The reflection of the light off the water will intensify the sun’s rays and cause damage much easier.

If you’re unsure how long you’ll be in the sun, and you haven’t worked up to a longer length of time, cover up your skin! Check out this video for more info on caring for your skin.

Some people find that they don’t need to worry about the sun harming them. If you do not burn and blister multiple times every summer, your skin is not getting damaged. This means the sun is helping your body, especially in detoxing. Detoxing your body from toxins is what lead to cancer. 

Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated in summer is not just about drinking water, although water is important. It’s also about minerals, especially if you’re sweating! When we make more Vitamin D in our skin, we have more Vitamin D in our bloodstream. Vitamin D pulls calcium to match it. Calcium in our tissue helps us to not burn. To keep hydrated and not burn, we also need Vitamin F. Vitamin F is a fatty acid combo that the liber makes. Eating animal fat often helps you make it, but some people need help and there are supplements that can help. Eating good sea salts like Redman’s Salt, Celtic Salt, and Baja Gold are all great ways to get minerals. Salting your food is one way to get salt but you can also take pinches off your hand or adding pinches to your water. Electrolyte mixes can also be helpful if they don’t have a lot of fake things in them. You can also make youre own. However you do it, do it to taste. This will mean you’re taking as much as you need but not excess. 

Staying hydrated will also prevent headaches. Toxicity is building up in our brains and other organs when the sun is helping us detox and this makes us feel yucky. Drinking enough water helps to flush them out.

Sleep During Summer

The sun also helps to energize our cells. Of course, having energy in our cells is good! It gives us energy to get through the day and helps our cells do what they need to do like cleanse, produce whatever they are supposed to, and helps them communicate with each other.

Because of this, when the sun is out, we need a little bit less sleep than in other seasons. This may not be true for kids or babies and you may find that if you’re recovering or not well, you still need more sleep. But if you find you can do an hour or even 2 hours of sleep less per night, that’s ok! We want to make sure we’re still falling asleep one to two hours before midnight because that is when our bodies are most efficient at repairs.

Eating During the Summer

A concept we talk a lot about in our clinic is Feeding Foods, Fun Foods, and Fake Foods. We have a video about that if you’re unfamiliar. Feeding foods are what we should eat about 80% of the time, especially in winter. These foods are the ones that give our bodies what they need to grow, repair, produce, and do what they need to. Fun foods are much more focused on cleansing, like plant foods, grains, fruits, and fresh vegetables. In the summer, our body actually needs a lot more of these fun foods. In the winter, we recommend 10-20% of our diets being fun foods but in the summer, we should be between 30-50%. 

Part of this comes from eating seasonally. In the summer, we would be picking lots of fresh foods and eating them immediately as their fresh. So it makes sense that we would eat more fun foods naturally in the summer.

Heat is very hard on our stomach and spleen. The spleen is in charge of warming your food and it can become exhausted by the end of summer if you’re not eating enough warm foods. Make sure, even in summer with eating fresh foods, you’re not eating only cold foods. Drinking a warm beverage with cold foods will also help.

This is how to care for your body during the summer!

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