As the temperatures continue to soar, digestive problems continue to rise. While your body is acclimatizing to summer weather, your immunity starts to suffer and hits a low. This is why it is even more important to ensure that your diet and nutrition game is on point during these months.
So when things start heating up outside, the key to making sure that you are living well and maintaining a balanced diet is to figure out new ways to cool down. Balancing your gut in the summer heat comes down to eating the right foods and possibly adding a probiotic supplement to your daily diet. Here are a few simple steps you can take to keep your gut cool while you enjoy the summer heat.
The key to fighting many diseases is deceptively simple – drink enough water. From boosting your digestive health to keeping your skin blemish-free, staying hydrated has plenty of benefits. During summers, you tend to perspire more which means you need to drink enough water to make up for the loss of fluids in your body. This summer, beat the heat by carrying a bottle of water with you everywhere you go. Getting about eight glasses of water in your system daily will help you balance your gut health at optimal levels.
Eat more fiber.
Food with high fiber content such as leafy greens, legumes, fruits, and whole grains help improve your digestive health. Greens like spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and collard can be added to salads. They are easy to digest and have a high content of fiber and water. This means that your gut does not need to work as hard to digest the food so you save energy and maintain a balanced gut with little effort.
Eat food with high water content.
From cucumbers to yummy watermelons, eating food with high water content is as healthy as it is delicious. Cooling foods like these act like built-in air conditioning systems inside your body. Whip up a quick watermelon and feta Greek salad or snack on cucumber sticks with a side of hummus. You could also make a green smoothie with your favorite leafy vegetables, cucumbers, and a dash of lemon.
Limit your coffee intake.
“Give me my coffee, and nobody gets hurt!” Many people have difficulty even starting their day without their favorite cuppa. However, the high temperatures of the summer months already present digestive difficulty that only gets exacerbated by too much caffeine.
Not only does caffeine create hurdles for your digestive system but it may also lead to issues like acidity, heartburn, and stomach ulcers. Get your first cup to start the day, if you must, but lay off caffeine after that. Substitute your regular cups of coffee with green tea – make it more summer-tastic by making ice cold green tea.
Avoid food with high fat content.
Fatty foods make the digestive process run really slow. This means your gut has to work extra hard to balance itself. Choose lean meats and food with good fat content like avocados and omega-3 rich fish instead.
Steer clear of spicy food.
When your body is already heating up during the summer, the last thing you need to do is accelerate the burnout process with spicy food. Small amounts of spices like cumin, pepper, and ginger are fine, but steer away from hot peppers, chilies, curries, and spicy salsas during hot months.
Load up on citrusy fruits.
Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges have a cooling effect on your gut. They also help detoxify your body. Lemon water boosts immunity and keeps your skin clear. Add a dash of lemon juice to your salad or water as a tasty addition to keep away the summer blues. Oranges are a great source of potassium and water. Lack of potassium leads to muscle cramps in your body, which might make it difficult to get through your summer activity checklist. Also, oranges contain about 80% of water which keeps you hydrated.
Balance your gut with probiotics.
Your gut is home to trillions of living microorganisms. It also accounts for about 70% of your immune system. Good bacteria can be your best ally during the summer months. From taking care of issues like constipation, diarrhea, low immunity, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) to offering you a host of other benefits like easy weight loss, clear skin, and better mood, probiotics are a power-packed addition to anyone’s diet. Quality probiotic supplements are available for people of all ages – from expectant mothers and newborns to seniors in the family.
Choose to splash in the pool this summer.
You can always have fun indoors, but the summer months offer the perfect temperature to enjoy a spot of swimming. So head to the pool or spend a day at the beach for a fun family summer activity. Aquatic adventures like these could lead to clogged and infected ears. Certain oral probiotic supplements help keep your ENT microbiome healthy and balanced. Your microbial friends can help you enjoy the summer heat and a splash in the pool without worrying about achy ears. Head out during early mornings or evenings.
Reduce your mental and emotional stress levels.
Excessive stress leads to heartburn, acidity, and general discomfort. High-stress levels coupled with the summer heat can do a nasty number on you. Prepare to stay cool this summer by scheduling in some meditation and yoga in your day. An ancient Ayurvedic saying goes, “As is the mind, so is the body.” There are many ways to keep your mind cool – listen to soothing music, take a walk amidst nature, go swimming, or do mindfulness exercises.
Use these tips to balance your gut in summer and maintain your body’s vitality. Stay cool!
Clemente, J. C., Ursell, L. K., Parfrey, L. W., & Knight, R. (2012). The Impact of the Gut Microbiota on Human Health: An Integrative View. Cell, 148(6), 1258–1270. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2012.01.035.
Graf, D., Di Cagno, R., Fåk, F., Flint, H. J., Nyman, M., Saarela, M., & Watzl, B. (2015). Contribution of diet to the composition of the human gut microbiota. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease, 26, 10.3402/mehd.v26.26164. http://doi.org/10.3402/mehd.v26.26164.
Popkin, B. M., D’Anci, K. E., & Rosenberg, I. H. (2010). Water, Hydration and Health. Nutrition Reviews, 68(8), 439–458. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2010.00304.x
Sawicki, C. M., Livingston, K. A., Obin, M., Roberts, S. B., Chung, M., & McKeown, N. M. (2017). Dietary Fiber and the Human Gut Microbiota: Application of Evidence Mapping Methodology. Nutrients, 9(2), 125. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu9020125