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Thriving through Summer 
Essential Nutrition Tips

Group on a hike

The days are getting longer, and all our summer plans are picking up! There are more outdoor opportunities for socialising and activity. Given that, there’s still a need to pay attention to your nutrition to keep your body healthy and energised. Nutrition always plays a vital role during the year, including summer. We include several tips to help you stay nourished, focused on your goals, and living well.

Don’t Neglect Hydration: While the sun doesn’t always make an appearance, when it does, it’s important to stay hydrated. Make it a habit to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you don't feel thirsty. Water is ideal, but other fluids count too including tea and coffee. You can also include hydrating fruit and veg like melon, cucumber, and citrus fruits if you like. If you’re active, staying hydrated is even more important.

Take Advantage of Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables: Summer is the season of vibrant and refreshing produce. Try incorporating a variety of seasonal fruits and vegetables into your meals or any of those special summer salads you create. Berries (yes, berries in salads are a thing!), tomatoes, peppers, radishes, fennel are just a few examples of nutrient-rich options. Seasonal fruits and vegetables will keep salads interesting but will also fill those same meals with vitamins and antioxidants.

Keep Meals Light: Heavy, rich meals can leave you feeling lethargic during long summer days. Instead, opt for light and refreshing meals that are easier to digest. Salads with leafy greens, grilled vegetables, lean proteins like grilled chicken or fish, and whole grains make for a satisfying but also light meal.

Incorporate a Little Mindful Eating: It's important to be mindful of portion sizes. We can do this by practicing mindful eating around meals. Pay attention to your body's hunger and fullness cues and take your time with meals. Savour the full experience of it, including the social component. Don’t feel forced into finishing a meal if you don’t want to. Equally, don’t deprive yourself of something you will enjoy.

It’s Not Sexy but Food Safety Matters: Summer temperatures can increase the risk of foodborne illnesses. When enjoying outdoor picnics or barbecues, be cautious about proper food handling and storage. Keep perishable items chilled, avoid leaving food out in the heat for too long, and always follow food safety guidelines to prevent food poisoning.

Limit Sugary Drinks and Alcohol: Sugary beverages like fizzy drinks, sweetened juices, and sports drinks can quickly add up to unnecessary calories and sugar intake. Try some alternatives like infused water, homemade fruit smoothies, or even dabble in a mocktail creation. During social gatherings, take your time with alcohol consumption. Remember that it’s also a factor in dehydration and combining it with higher temperatures can increase that risk. If you do choose to drink alcohol, pace yourself and don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Maintaining proper nutrition during the summer is essential for your overall well-being. Focus on hydration, include seasonal fruits and vegetables, opt for light meals, and be mindful of portion sizes. By following these tips, you can ensure that you nourish your body, stay energised, and enjoy all the fun activities that summer has to offer.

Link in with your dedicated Irish Life Account Manager or Wellbeing Consultant or contact us at wellness@irishlife.ie to find out how we can help.
 

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