3 Summer Vacation Pitfalls and How to Avoid Them with the Right Foods

Foods that prevent sunburn

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Whether you’re amusement park-bound with the family this summer, lounging on the sun-soaked beach, or heading to grandma’s house at the lake, there are foods and strategies to conquer common summer vacation woes.

Watermelon helps prevent dehydration

1. How to prevent fatigue and sluggishness caused by dehydration

Don’t let annoying headaches and fatigue get in the way of your much-deserved vacation. Even slight dehydration (before you feel thirsty) can increase the duration and intensity of headaches and can even trigger a migraine. Inadequate hydration can also lead to sluggishness. While drinking plain water is one of the best ways to replace lost fluids, foods contribute to water intake, too. Especially aim for these fruits and vegetables composed of over 90% water: watermelon, grapes, cucumbers, cantaloupe, celery, lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries.

Foods that prevent sunburn

2. How foods with natural SPF can help prevent sunburn

Studies have shown that certain nutrients found in foods function as a natural SPF when consumed before sun exposure. While your first line of defense should remain limiting sun exposure and correctly applying sunscreen, think of these naturally-occurring phytochemicals as another layer of defense against too much of the sun’s damaging rays.

Lycopene: in red-pigmented fruits and vegetables, like cherry tomatoes. Since lycopene is fat-soluble, the presence of fat helps with absorption. The lycopene in cooked tomatoes (found in tomato juice and spaghetti sauce) is absorbed four times better than when raw.

Carotenoids: in egg yolks, sweet potato chips and kale chips

Catechins: in green tea

Flavanols: in dark chocolate and cocoa nibs

Polyphenols: in red wine or dark purple grape juice

Foods that help with constipation

3. How to prevent or relieve constipation

Vacation can cause constipation due to changes in daily routine (sleep and eating schedule), exercise and diet (fiber and fluid intake) and stress.

Bring with you: Think foods with insoluble fiber, like bran cereal (especially the twiggy kind), apples (for their skins), nuts and seeds, dried fruit and 100% whole-grain crackers

Order at restaurants: green beans, skin-on baked potatoes, legumes, whole-grain breads and pastas

When diet isn’t enough: Even people with healthy habits sometimes get occasional constipation, but it doesn’t have to interfere with your daily life. A product containing a natural vegetable laxative ingredient, such as Senokot® Tablets, can be an effective, gentler choice to treat occasional constipation. As with any laxative product, make sure to read the full product label before use. And check out Senokot.com for more helpful tips on relieving occasional constipation.

With a little planning and forethought, summertime discomforts can be avoided relatively easily with carefully chosen healthy snacks, adequate hydration, and the right nutrient-rich foods. Keep these tips in mind before heading out on your next vacation.

Disclosure: I’m a paid nutrition spokesperson for Senokot. Words are my own.

 

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