By Claire Bacon, ACN, CNC
It’s the best time of year! Summer is here! Finally, it’s our favorite time for laid-back get togethers on the patio or out on the lake. Is there anyone who doesn’t love a chance to hang out with friends and enjoy beautiful weather? The key to a great party is being outside! As much as we love all that summer has to offer, sometimes we get carried away. Keep reading for a few of our favorite natural remedies and ways you can stay prepared…
Fun in the Sun
It goes without saying – there will be times when we have way too much fun in the sun. We often don’t realize we’ve been exposed too much until it’s too late. Ouch! The heat of a burn can be painful (and embarrassing, too). Let’s look at this more closely so we can understand how our bodies respond to the sun…
Vitamin D and Calcium Metabolism
The ultraviolet rays from the sun convert skin oil and cholesterol to vitamin D. Ideally, your sun exposure results in the perfect tan. But sometimes, one or more crucial steps in your vitamin D metabolism is insufficient for proper function. Are you prone to sunburns, or getting cold sores (fever blisters) or even hives after too much sun exposure? It could actually be a deficiency of calcium or vitamin F (healthy fats).
First, you must have strong enough digestion to break down the calcium and essential fatty acids from your food. Then, vitamin D picks up the calcium from your gut and puts it in your bloodstream. Next, vitamin F takes calcium from the blood and puts it into the tissues. And vitamin C takes calcium from the blood and puts it into the bones. Without this full mechanism working properly, various symptoms may occur.
Suppose your cholesterol is very low, and you don’t have enough good lipids in the skin – your vitamin D metabolism will suffer. And suppose you get lots of sun exposure (D) but you haven’t eaten any healthy fats (F). This imbalance will cause your blood calcium level to increase at the expense of your tissue calcium level. Over the years, without enough fats and calcium in the tissues, the exposed skin will become thick and leathery. This is from the excess sun exposure and inability to balance the D conversion.
At any time, without sufficient calcium in the tissues, you may experience symptoms of reduced immune function, such as cold sores or hives. Itchy skin or even sunstroke could occur in extreme conditions. If you were able to check your blood at this moment, you would see elevated blood calcium. You would probably also see low levels of essential fatty acids.
Natural Remedies for When You Can’t Avoid The Sun
We’d like to remind you that short but regular time in the sun supports your vitamin D level, immune system function, and general sense of wellbeing. Sun exposure is only dangerous 1) when it is excessive and 2) when it occurs with a deficiency of healthy fats (vitamin F). If you know you’ll be in the sun a long period of time, be sure to take these steps:
- apply a nontoxic sunscreen like Larkly mineral sunscreen, Beauty Counter or Badger,
- take extra fish oil orally and apply a good skin care oil like jojoba, Pure Haven body oil, or Biotics Mixed EFAs oil
- consume high calcium foods like spinach and oranges,
- regularly eat high arachidonic acid fats like animal proteins and butter,
- put on a hat and a long sleeve shirt, or sit in the shade.
Natural Remedies for Dehydration
We all know that proper hydration is critical for good health. Water helps our body in many ways: by carrying nutrients to cells, removing waste products from our major organs, and controlling our body temperature. But did you know these fun facts?
- Water is the most abundant molecule in our body and on our planet.
- When we are born, water makes up about 75% of our body weight, but makes up about 60% of the body weight of older children and adults.
- Water is constantly being lost from our body (going to the bathroom, breathing, sweating) so if we don’t drink enough, we become dehydrated.
- People can survive for up to 50 days without food but only a few days without drinking water.
Dehydration is dangerous because it causes a shift in the balance of electrolytes in the body. Electrolytes help deliver nutrients into cells, balance the pH of the blood, and the contraction and relaxation of muscles—including the heart. Maintaining proper hydration and electrolyte balance during physical exertion (especially in the heat) is crucial because it allows the immune system and organs to function properly. When imbalanced, bodily processes are compromised.
Our favorite natural remedies to prevent dehydration? It’s easy to incorporate these quick tips:
- Sip on watered-down coconut water with naturally-occurring electrolytes,
- If you drink coffee or caffeinated tea, alternate each cup with a glass of water,
- Aim to consume about half your body weight in ounces of water. And if you’re exercising in the heat, drink at least 16 ounces per hour, possibly more.
- add a Raspberry Lemonade Nuun tablet to your regular water, or
- add a pinch of Celtic sea salt to your regular water.
Staying Sober While Others Are Drinking
Why would you want to stay sober when everyone else is partying? Lots of reasons!
Alcohol is generally unhealthy and can interfere with being more productive (especially the next morning). It is easier to meet and make friends with people when you are able to listen and remember details of your conversation. You get to know other people much better when you see them with sober eyes and a clear thought process. Plus, you’re not at risk of making a fool of yourself.
When you’re sober but hanging out in drunken company, you may see your friends differently. In this state, they might not be presenting themselves with the best image. It should become clear whether you want others to see you in the same way. Isn’t it better to be the friend that everyone else can depend on to be responsible?
Dr. Bob’s tip: when you want a fizzy drink that looks like alcohol (and avoids those pesky questions) try a soda water on ice with bitters. Not only do bitters add an interesting flavor, but they also promote digestion. Be sure to put a decent amount of bitters into your drink to give it a nice color. Our favorite brands? I’m glad you asked…
- 1821 Bitters has the best variety of flavors. They used to have a shop but now the products are just available online.
- Urban Moonshine is available online,
- Swedish Bitters is available online, and
- Angostura is available in just about every restaurant-bar.
Natural Remedies for Too Much Fun
If you sometimes have “too much fun” yet still want to support yourself naturally, try out these supplements…
- LivCo is an herbal blend of Milk Thistle, Schisandra, and Rosemary. These herbs protect the liver cells from insults like too much alcohol and chemical preservatives. In addition, they support normal detoxification functions to clear the excesses before they become too much of a problem. Just two tablets before a night out can be helpful.
- Calcium Lactate and Cataplex F are the top combo to protect your skin from too much sun. Calcium Lactate is highly absorbable, and the fatty acids in Cataplex F deliver the calcium into the tissues. You’ll want to add these in a few days before your beach trip.
- AC Carbamide is a natural diuretic that supports proper fluid balance between the cells. It can prevent fluid retention and swelling when that tends to happen in the heat. It also prevents headaches and hangovers if taken ahead of time.
Bonus: One more thing that we would be remiss not to mention… Antronex is another key supplement to keep on hand in the medicine cabinet. It’s excellent to ease the itching from mosquito bites. It helps relieve a headache. And it can speed the clearing of any other type of histamine reaction (puffy eyes, runny nose, rashes, etc.).
Thank you all for your continued patience. Our new SP web store is coming soon!
Natural remedies are key to have on hand for all those fun summer parties and barbeques. You never know when something might come up! When you prepare your body (and your medicine cabinet) ahead of time, you can prevent all kinds of issues that would otherwise bring you down.
Let us know where you might have other obstacles to your leisure time and need more support! Have a happy and safe Fourth of July!