It maybe September but this heat is feeling relentless. The hot weather brings its own unique set of challenges to our physiology and there are a few ways in which our diet can be helping in managing these challenges. Here are some guidelines to keep you cool and energised:
How much water should I drink a day? 1 litre? 3 litres? 8 glasses. When you read different articles you will see all manner of recommendations. Thankfully, your body has a way of showing you what the state of play is. Simply drink until your urine runs clear. When you hit the point that your urine is running clear, you are hydrated. Stop drinking water. When the urine gets some colour back, top yourself up. Keep this up and you will be hydrated all day. Remember tea and coffee are dehydrating!
Eat lighter meals
Big heavy meals simply generate heat! We need to work hard to digest food, there is a calorie burn and we generate heat. Lighter meals that are easier to digest means our body doesn’t have to work as hard to break it down. Eat nutrient dense salads with lean proteins and lots of greens and fresh herbs – clean and fresh foods are the easiest to digest.
The carotenoids are a group pf phytochemicals in food that give colour pigments. They are the substances that give orange, yellow, light red and pink colour pigments in foods. From sweet potatoes and carrots to tomatoes and prawns, their presence in our food is wide and varied. They are an alternative form of vitamin A. They are fat soluble antioxidants and can accumulate in the subcutaneous layer of the skin where structures such as collagen and elastin are stored. These structures can be damaged by oxidation, particularly in the presence of Ultra Violet radiation. Excessive exposure to the sun can accelerate the ageing of the skin, and it is oxidative damage to these structures that is part of that process.
Up your salt
You are going to sweat more in this weather, the electrolyte loss during the day can be significant. A lot of the Western World do suffer from a sodium excess, which can create a lot of problems, specifically for cardiovascular health. However, it is one of the most important electrolytes involved in regulating every conceivable aspect of extracellular communication, and many aspects of intracellular communication.
Choose only an unrefined sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt. These have the important sodium and relevant minerals in.
Hot nights can interrupt our sleep. Having a meal rich in both magnesium and the amino acid tryptophan will help you to drift off into a restful night’s sleep. Magnesium helps your muscles to physically relax so you get into a far deeper relaxed state. Tryptophan is the metabolic precursor to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin in turn converts over into melatonin which is the substance that sets the clock. It gets us off to sleep and helps us get a longer deeper sleep.
Magnesium is found in leafy greens, dark chocolate and raw nuts. Tryptophan rich foods are tuna, turkey and bananas. You also need to have a small amount of carbohydrate present too, as we need a gentle rise in insulin to push tryptophan across the blood brain barrier. Sleep well!!
I am now available for consultancies and analysis at Dr Stoma’s clinic in Son Ferrer .
+34 871 20 10 07