It’s summertime!! And all kinds of things can happen in the summertime that otherwise might seem impossible. Let me explain a few things that happen in the summertime that can help you be healthier, heal from all manner of diseases, and support good health!
Did you know there is a reduced chance of heart attacks in the summertime?
Researchers studied 11,000 people who had heart attacks in the UK over a period of nine years, and the survival rate increased by 19 percent if the attack occurred in the summer. This indicates that you are less likely to die of a heart attack in the summer than in the winter. The higher levels of vitamin D you get in the summer - which is synthesized by sunlight - are thought to play a protective part in those who suffer heart attacks.
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone that influences virtually every cell in your body and is easily one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. The sun is your source of vitamin D because when you expose your skin to sunshine, your skin synthesizes vitamin D3 sulfate. This form of vitamin D is water-soluble and can travel freely in your bloodstream, unlike oral vitamin D3 supplements. Your organs can convert the vitamin D in your bloodstream into calcitriol, which is the hormonal or activated version of vitamin D. Your organs then use it to repair the damage, including damage from cancer cells and tumors. Vitamin D's protective effect against cancer works in multiple ways, including:
- It helps to destroy mutated cells before they become cancerous and can reduce the reproduction of cancer cells.
- It can help promote the growth of new blood vessels from pre-existing ones, which is important in the transition of dormant tumors turning cancerous.
There is research that shows the farther north you live, the more prevalent the rate of cancer. They equate this to lack of sun exposure and not getting proper amounts of vitamin D.
When I was a little girl, we spent time in the summers at my grandma’s house which was on an island in Nova Scotia. I can remember my grandma talking to my mom about how all the women on the island would get cancer and the men wouldn’t. It baffled her and we always wondered why. Years later, I was talking to my mom about the sun and vitamin D and how people farther north wouldn’t always get out in the sun and a light bulb went off in her head, and she said, “This is why the men didn’t get cancer on the island and the women did. They were all fishermen and they always had the sun on their faces and hands and had that ruddy complexion from sun exposure on the ships even in the winter. Vitamin D stores in the body for about three months. And even if you just get it on your face you’re still getting vitamin D."
Skin problems get better in the summertime
Controlled exposure to the sun can have a therapeutic effect on skin issues such as acne, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
Dr. Ian White, the consultant dermatologist at St Thomas's Hospital in London, says many skin disorders are caused by an over-sensitive immune system. UV rays reduce that sensitivity.
It is better to walk around in daylight rather than sitting directly exposed to the sun for any length of time because sunburn could occur. The therapeutic effects of the sun occur just below the level of turning skin red. Most fair skins can tolerate up to fifteen minutes of direct exposure before the skin turns pink.
My sister had psoriasis for many years and would always tell me it got better in the summertime. She didn’t get in the sun a lot and lives up near Chicago so vitamin D was scarce for her. A lot of these skin conditions are due to a liver that is stressed and lacks vitamin D as well as lacking beneficial gut flora. So many people who have learned to make and eat cultured probiotic foods have seen these problems eliminated as the probiotics help detox the body, take the stress off the liver, cleanse the lymph system, and restore the gut flora. Combine this with fifteen minutes of sunshine and you have a winning combo.
The foods we eat in the summertime
Berries have strong anti-inflammatory properties. New research in a nurse's health study (done by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard School of Public Health) was done with 70-year-old women who were found to have reduced cognitive loss when they consumed 1-2 servings of strawberries or blueberries per week.  Strawberries are also the fifth best source of vitamin C and they also help regulate your blood sugar. So, many of my afternoons are filled with strawberries They give me a lift and they taste delicious.
Blueberries – I learned a long time ago that it was a good idea to have them in my diet on a regular basis. They helped me a lot when I was younger and would get a urinary tract infection. This was before I found cultured foods, and I would frequently have bouts with UTIs. Blueberries helped me keep them at bay. According to a 1998 study published in “The New England Journal of Medicine,” blueberries have compounds called proanthocyanidins that prevent bacteria from sticking to the walls of the urinary tract. After I found cultured foods, I never had problems with UTIs, but my blueberry habit stuck with me and it’s one of my very favorite snacks.
Apples give me a pickup. Ever have a mid-afternoon slump where you feel tired and lethargic? Often it’s your blood sugar dropping and adrenals crashing and you need a little help keeping those glucose numbers stable. Properties found in apples can help us clear more sugar from our bloodstream. Apples help to activate the muscle cell insulin receptors keeping blood sugar levels in better balance. Muscle cells are glucose hogs. They continuously need this uptake of sugar from the bloodstream in order to function and keep you moving your body throughout the day.
I had only gotten about 4 hours of sleep just the other day and my son wanted to take us to the beach to use some jet skis out on the ocean. So we spent the morning having a blast on the water and saw dolphins and sea lions and what a day! But at about 3:00 pm, I felt my adrenals crash from the lack of sleep and all the swimming we had done. We put the jet skis away and my son-in-law who was with us said, "Let's go to the kombucha bar and get a kombucha!" These types of places are popping up all over the country and I have a Pinterest page that shows you where they are. I'm doing everything I can do to promote these places!! We need them. Anyway, we all got some kombucha on tap and I sat and drank one that was apple pie flavored! It was so good and I swear in 20 minutes I felt so much better. This has happened time and time again to me. I reach for these probiotic foods to help me with a myriad of problems and they work like magic. They're so much better than unhealthy soda pops and alcohol because they're loaded with probiotics! Check out my Apple Kombucha recipe below.
Watermelon is a wonderful fruit, and it's so refreshing in the summertime. Watermelon has lots of vitamins and minerals and has more lycopene than tomatoes. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that gives fruits and vegetables a pink or red color. Most people think the tomato is king of lycopene and it has a lot, but watermelon is actually a more concentrated source. Watermelon is one of my favorite fruits to combine with kefir. It gets super bubbly and delicious! Watermelon especially helps with hydration in hot weather. Since our bodies are mostly water, we need lots of water to keep our lymph system cleansing us and watermelon is fantastic for this. The lycopene in watermelon makes it an anti-inflammatory fruit, and it can cool down inflammation in the body that keeps you inflamed. Watermelon contains fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular - and it doesn't seem to mess with your blood sugar but rather keeps it in balance.
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Certain foods and sources available in the summertime have nutrients that supercharge the immune system. Check out my favorite cultured recipes and summer foods that are fun, easy to make, and oh so good for you!