The summer season is all about feeling good, looking good and enjoying a well-earned break in the sun. However, we often find that our summer holidays creep up on us as we get swept away with everyday life. So, in a pre-holiday panic to get beach-ready, what last minute advice can you employ that might actually make a difference?
We ask Expert Nutritionist Amanda Hamilton and Westlab Pharmacist Karen Davies to share their top tips for glowing skin, a flatter tummy and vibrant, glowing summer health.
3 Top Tips for Glowing Skin:
- “There’s truth in the saying that great skin starts from within” says Amanda Hamilton. “Boosting intake of essential fats, particularly omega 3 fats that are often deficient on our diets, can improve skin lustre and reduce inflammation. Try increasing consumption of fish oil such as mackerel or salmon to three a week and add a daily snack of a tablespoon of raw unsalted nuts and seeds. These protein rich foods also increase satiation, helping to curb cravings for sugary snacks”.
- Hydration really helps improve the skin but remember to sip water throughout the day rather than all in one go. If you find water too boring, experiment with infusing a jug of water with seasonal fruits and green herbs such as watermelon and mint. Cucumber water is also deliciously refreshing.
- The British population tend to hide their bodies under multiple layers of clothing throughout the year, then bare all for a few weeks in summer months. “Himalayan salt can help cleanse the skin and many people find the cleansing of the skin helpful in maintaining skin health” says Karen Davies. “Dead Sea Salt is great when added to your regular shower wash as a natural exfoliant to soften dry skin. A Dead Sea Bath at body temperature (not too hot) is also a great way to help soothe dry, irritated skin after a day in the sun.” And of course, always remember your sunscreen.
what about the body?
“Bloating can falsely change your shape and size, and can make even confident people feel body shy” says Amanda. “Depending on the health of your gut and what’s known as your microbiome (the collective name for bacteria that resides mostly in your gut) you can even influence your immune system.
Your healthy bacteria help you to digest food, protect you against pathogens, provide essential nutrients, enzymes and hormones and train your immune system. Everyone’s microbiome is unique, like a fingerprint, but what the scientific worlds is increasingly discovering is if there’s something wrong with your microbiome, there’s something wrong with you.
3 easy ways to support your body from the inside out:
- “Increase natural, digestion-friendly fibre such as that found in fruit and vegetables. Not only will it improve transit time, but fibrous foods also bind to excess oestrogen in the digestive tract, carrying it out of the body” says Amanda. Good sources include brown rice, carrots, cucumbers and celery. However, contrary to good long-term advice, don’t overdo plant proteins like beans, pulses or binge on broccoli in the run up to your travels if they are not already in your diet. All can create excessive gas!
- “If you already joined the gut-healthy trend then you will be familiar with probiotic rich natural foods such as yogurt, kefir or sauerkraut. These foods are an ideal way of increasing beneficial bacteria in the gut that help sort out tummy issues at source and even help with natural immunity. If you are new to these foods, introduce small amounts”.
- “There are many reasons why a stomach bloats, depending on what the cause is will determine what can help the bloating” says Karen. “The body does not hold water in the stomach normally, so bloating tends to be due to excessive gas. To relieve bloating, soak in a bath of Westlab Epsom Salts. The role of Epsom Salts is useful in helping the body gain access to sulphates which help the digestive processes work more efficiently and magnesium will help relax the muscles. This will assist in reducing the build-up of gas and will help reduce bloating”