Summer brings to mind the outdoors. Family barbecues, beach days, hiking trips, afternoons by the lake, and so much more. Since we’ll be enjoying all these fun activities under the summer sun, it’s important that we take good care of our skin. This season is one of high exposure to the outdoor elements, which can be rough on all skin types. Follow these tips and tricks to make sure your skin stays in tip top shape.
It’s imperative that you maintain moisture in your skin, especially when being exposed to excess amounts of hot or cold weather. The heat of summer can dry out your skin and open your pores, causing flaky, dry skin, acne, and sometimes even heat rash. Find a moisturizer that works for you and use it daily. We recommend organic products made from plant material, as they offer natural ingredients to soothe dry skin, rather than a synthetic product that could cause further irritate on.
The use of sunscreen when under direct exposure is important. Those long beach days or days spent on the trails will take a toll on your skin. By the end of the day, you’ll undress and realize thatyou’re burnt! Being sunburnt is not the best feeling in the world – most people like to try to avoid it. So, grab that bottle of sunscreen next time you’re heading outdoors fora long period of time. Hats, sunglasses, and sunshades/umbrellas are also a good idea for added protection, especially for children.
Take care of your skin! Use an exfoliating scrub to ensure that you’re getting all of the dead skin and dirt off of yourself. A scrub also helps to ensure your skin will remain soft and supple, as it removes trapped dirt and even ingrown hairs from pores. Make sure to lather up with a good lotion after each scrub.
Water is your friend – in many ways. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a day by the pool or a kayaking trip or whatever water adventure may be calling your name, but don’t forget to actually drink water, too! Drinking water naturally revitalizes your skin from the inside out and will help to maintain your vibrancy throughout the season.
Get plenty of rest after a day in the sun. Sleep is essential to your body’s natural healing process, and yes, your skin does undergo damage each time you expose it to the earth s natural elements. Grab a pillow and a blanket, a night cap – whatever you need – and head to bed for a good night’s sleep!
This tip won’t apply to everyone, but for those who wear makeup, tone it down during the summer months if you’ll be enjoying the outdoors a lot. It’s important to remember that all the extra products in your makeup will essentially be “baking” into your skin, and that just doesn’t sound pleasant at all. Chose a simple BB cream that will hydrate and even your skin tone and some lip balm to protect those lips. Most importantly, remember, you’re beautiful with and without makeup!
Use a vitamin C cream or cleanser to ensure that your skin is getting the proper nutrients that it needs during the scorching summer months. The regular use of vitamin C helps to reduce skin hyperpigmentation, along with reducing fine lines and wrinkles – perfect for keeping a youthful glow all summer long!
Whether you are planning a trip to Yellowstone or just a simple day at the beach, you’ll be outdoors, and you can’t hide from the sun! Protect your skin while enjoying your favorite summer activities, and you’ll be thankful for your luscious glow that is not only beautiful, but healthy.
Avoid certain foods for a couple of hours before you go to bed if you want a good night’s sleep.
Carbs (pasta, rice, bread):
It’s widely believed that carbs help you sleep, but the opposite may be true, Dale says. ‘Carbohydrates might bring you down a little bit, but if your meal is high in carbs, it also means it’s high in sugar — and that would not be good at the end of the day.’
Coffee: Depending on your own caffeine sensitivity, caffeine can stay in your system for about six hours. It’s advisable not to have too much caffeine or other stimulants after 2 pm, and generally not to drink too much coffee throughout the day. ‘You don’t really need more than two cups per day,’ Dale says. ‘Even if you’re someone who boasts that you can have a double espresso just before bed, be careful: you may not struggle to fall asleep, but the spike of caffeine can still cause interrupted sleep.’
ON THE FENCE
Red Wine: A group of Italian scientists found that many grapes used to make red wine contain quite high levels of melatonin, a hormone that signals to your body that it’s time to sleep, but they have yet to establish whether the melatonin is present in the wine itself. Franco Faoro, who co-authored the study, points out that anyway, when it comes to sleep, ‘The effect of the alcohol in red wine would certainly be much more of a determinant.’
In other words, don’t start glugging a glass before bed just yet!
Herbal teas: Teas like chamomile, rooibos and honeybush do not contain any caffeine, and many people find them calming. They can also help with digestion, easing your brain and body into a relaxed state for sleep. Keep in mind that teas like peppermint and ginger are known to have a stimulating effect.
Blood Clots have been in the news because of a possible link to Covid 19 vaccine. So we asked some medical experts to share their advice on prevention and treatment.
Here’s what you need to know.
Every 37 seconds, someone in the world dies from a venous thromboembolism (VTE), where a blood clot forms, most often in the deep veins of the leg, groin or arm. While clotting is a normal process that can prevent us from losing too much blood when wounded, clots that don’t dissolve can be dangerous, and even life-threatening in some instances.
Blood clots have become a talking point recently, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) found a possible link between Covid vaccine and rare blood clots. However, both the EMA and NPHET have emphasised that the benefits from the vaccine far outweigh the risks of the ‘very rare’ side effect of the vaccine.
To better understand why blood clots sometimes occur and whether you should be worried, we asked medical experts to answer some common questions…
WHAT ARE BLOOD CLOTS AND WHY DO THEY HAPPEN?
“Blood clot is a generic term for a thrombosis, which put simply, is an obstruction of a vessel (arterial or venous) by a build-up of platelets and a number of different blood products, ” says Dr Emeka Okorocha.
“If a particle of another product breaks off, it gets thicker and travels around the vessels, and may get stuck or create an obstruction.
We call this an ‘embolism’, which is also a form of blood clot. “This process could be triggered by an injury, but in some cases blood clots occur inside vessels where there has been no obvious injury. ”
WHAT KINDS OF THINGS PUT YOU AT RISK?
Blood clots can potentially affect anyone, although some lifestyle and genetic factors may put some people at higher risk.
“If you’re obese, bedridden after an operation, have very prominent varicose veins, are pregnant or are on an oestrogen oral contraceptive pill, then you may have an increased risk of blood clots, ” says Harley Street medical expert Dr Paul Ettlinger. They can also be associated with long lengths of time being inactive, and long-haul flights. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance (stoptheclot.org), cancer, major surgery, the use of hormone therapy, smoking and being aged over 55 can also be risk factors. Genetic factors may also apply, so it’s important to know your family history.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE A BLOOD CLOT?
It’s not always easy to spot whether you have a blood clot, because the symptoms are different depending on where you think you have it. But there can be some warning signs, especially for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
“A DVT is commonly found in the leg, so look out for a painful swelling in the calf, ” says Ettlinger. “This often happens after a period of immobility, which is why being on a long-haul flight or surgery can often cause an incident. “Breathlessness and chest pain on breathing can be a sign that a clot has broken off and has entered the lung, ” he adds (known as pulmonary embolism).
“But, of course, you can be breathless for lots of other reasons, even a common cold, so beware of any sudden acute onset, ” says Ettlinger. This is especially important if you have a risk factor like taking the contraceptive pill, blood clots are in your family history, or if you’re pregnant.
“I’d also look at severe migraines too as a potential warning sign, ” he adds.
HOW ARE BLOOD CLOTS TREATED?
“Medical experts often treat blood clots with blood thinning medication, such as anticoagulants,” explains Emeka. “We normally inject the medicine into the patient for a number of weeks, which basically thins the clot and reduces the more severe effects on the body.
“In more severe cases, we use percutaneous coronary intervention (aka a non-surgical angioplasty) to treat blood clots. If a blood clot is caused by something more serious and it has occluded in a vessel, then we can perform surgery. This involves a surgeon entering the vessel, stenting it and removing the clot completely. ”
SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT THE COVID-19 VACCINE INCREASING YOUR RISK OF BLOOD CLOTS?
“While there have been some reports of people suffering blood clots after receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, the risk is minimal and the benefits outweigh the risk by a long way, ” assures Emeka. “With a risk of only four in 1 million, people should not be worrying about developing blood clots following the vaccine and, on the whole, blood clots occur for a number of reasons, including lifestyle factors. ”
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO TRY AND PREVENT BLOOD CLOTS?
As with many conditions, living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best preventative measures we can take. “It’s difficult to say whether you can completely prevent any clots from occurring, but if you keep your weight down, your cholesterol down, and control your blood sugar levels, then these can all contribute to reducing your risk,” says Emeka.
“One of the best ways to manage this is via a healthy diet and regular exercise Health experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity. If you’re not sure where to start, fitness apps can be incredibly beneficial.
“These apps tailors workouts to you, your goals, and your fitness ability, so do not let being new to exercise be a barrier to starting, especially if you are worried about blood clots.”
Ettlinger suggests picking up some flight socks if you’re planning to travel when restrictions lift: “Support stockings, or flight socks, are a great way of reducing blood clots because they compress the veins in the legs and prevent blood pooling there and causing a clot.”
And Emeka adds: “Lastly, if you are taking the oral contraceptive pill or have blood clots in your family history, it’s advisable that you make sine you’re speaking to your doctor regularly about your risk.” While blood clots can be serious, they’re very treatable if caught in time. If you have any concerns about your health and blood clot risk, speak with your own doctor or nurse.
Eating Avocados Supports A Healthy Gut
Eating an avocado every day is one of the best ways of keeping your gut healthy and that has a big impact on your immune system and overall health and wellbeing. Eating the fruit at least once a day ensures there is a good diversity of bacteria in your gut microbiome, the body’s “second brain” that controls our health. The fats in avocados also help the gut break down fiber and produce metabolites that support gut health, say researchers from University of Illinois.
They gave an avocado a day to around 80 part of their meals, and gave the to another group but without avocado. All the participants were overweight or obese. Those who ate the avocados had healthier and more diverse gut microbiomes, and were also excreting less fat, which suggests they were getting more energy from the other food they were eating.
An avocado is a fruit high in energy and nutrients, including important micronutrients such as potassium and fiber. Adding an avocado to a daily meal is one quick and simple way to get some of the nutrients and fiber we need.
Earlier studies have discovered that avocados reduce cholesterol levels—and now we know it is good for our gut as well. “It’s just a really nicely packaged fruit that contains nutrients that are important to our health. Our work shows we can add benefits to gut health to that list,” said researcher Hannah Holscher Assistant Professor of Nutrition, University of Illinois.
90% of bad breath originates in the mouth because of factors such as poor oral hygiene and gum disease.
Bad breath is natural, but that doesn’t make it any less noxious. When bacteria break down food particles left on the surfaces of or between teeth, smelly compounds, such as sulfur, form that’s what leads to that funky whiff. Having a dry mouth can also lead to bad breath, because that means there’s not enough saliva to clear debris and reduce odor-causing bacteria.
Usually, bad breath isn’t cause for concern beyond a bit of embarrassment, but sometimes it may “indicate a dental infection or underlying problems such as diabetes, reflux, or kidney or liver disease, so work with your dentist or doctor to figure out the reason behind it,” says Theodora Danciu, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., a clinical professor at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry.
Following these tips can help your breath fresh as well as keep your mouth healthy on a daily basis.
Here’s how to keep breath fresh.
BRUSH, FLOSS, REPEAT
Of course, brushing and flossing are among the best ways to ward off bad breath. Brush at least twice a day, and floss at least once—and always before bedtime. “You salivate less when sleeping, so debris left on teeth gives bugs a chance to feast overnight,” says Kay Jordan, D.D.S., an associate clinical professor at Louisiana State University School of Dentistry. Rinse your brush after each use and let it air-dry; replace it about every three months to prevent bacterial buildup.
FOCUS ON YOUR TONGUE
“Cleaning the tongue’s surface will help remove some of its microbial coating,” says Angelo Mariotti, Ph.D., D.D.S., a professor and chair of peri-odontology at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry. With a paste-less toothbrush, trace a big X, then a straight line down the middle.
KEEP YOUR MOUTH MOIST
To help your mouth produce enough cleansing saliva, drink water throughout the day or suck on ice chips. If your mouth is already dry, chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva flow (and temporarily freshen breath).
TREAT IT – GO FOR CHECKUPS
Visit your dentist every six months for a thorough cleaning. This also gives you the chance to address issues that may lead to bad breath such as cavities, gingivitis (inflamed gums), and periodontitis (gum disease).
Rinsing with an over-the-counter mouthwash can temporarily freshen breath, especially if the product contains zinc; studies suggest that zinc chemically neutralizes sulfur gases and suppresses bacteria that produce them. Avoid mouthwashes with alcohol, which can be mouth-drying. For chronic dry mouth, try an OTC saliva-replacement spray or gel.
AMEND YOUR MEDS
Ask your doctor if any drug you’re taking is among the many that can cause dry mouth. If so, work together to adjust the dose or find a less drying alternative.