Summer Wellness Tips: Feel Your Best This Summer

Dr Hilary Jones - Manuka Honey Expert
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Dr Hilary Jones MBE has been an independent expert to Manuka Doctor for the past 6 years. One of ITV’s longest serving TV presenters, he currently appears on morning television as well as writing countless articles on the benefits of a healthier way of living.

Author views are not our own.

It’s a time of year most of us look forward to – long, light days, barbecues, holidays and fun with family and friends. This is also a great time to boost your wellbeing – the warmer weather can be a motivator to get fitter and eat nutritious seasonal food. But certain health niggles can arrive hand-in-hand with the summer. So try these tips to maximise summer’s wellbeing potential and avoid getting run-down

Here are are my top summer wellness tips for feeling your best this summer:

Sleeping and Restless Nights

There is nothing worse than trying to get to sleep when it's hot. Tossing and turning in sweaty sheets unable to get cool, can mean you may find yourself dreading the summer nights.

Even small changes like keeping your curtains closed during the daytime can reduce the temperature in your room. But have you tried a cold water bottle? Freeze a bottle of water and wrap it in a cloth or t-shirt. Just like a hot water bottle in the winter, this will help regulate your temperature and will cool your body down at nighttime.

Product recommendation: you could try the Night-Time Relax Sleep Supplement. A daily sleep supplement with Lavender and Lemon Balm to help promote a better night's sleep.

Replace Fluids

We all sweat in the hot weather and there isn’t much you can do to stop it! This is your body’s natural response to avoid overheating, and yes that fluid does need to be replaced.

Make sure you drink more water than you usually do to give your body what it needs to function well in the heat. Cups of Tea can count towards your daily total, but certainly not coffee or alcohol which can have the opposite effect.

If you are busy and find it hard to remember to drink water, invest in a nice bottle you can keep in your car, your desk, or next to your chair. You’ll be surprised how easy it is when you have something to hand. And as an added bonus, staying hydrated often keeps hunger pangs at bay too as you can sometimes confuse your body’s signals for needing water with you being hungry!

Sweating can also deplete your body of electrolytes - essential minerals—like sodium, calcium, and potassium—that are vital to many key functions in the body. A good way to replenish them is by eating foods rich in these nutrients. Foods like bananas, avocados, coconut water, leafy greens, and natural sea salt are all great sources.

Make a mouthwatering Manuka smoothie

Smoothies are an excellent way to get a juicy hit of vitamins and minerals in one go. Blend a big handful of summer berries with a small banana, a handful of spinach, a glass of oat milk and Manuka honey to taste.

Manuka Honey Smoothie

If you are looking for a refreshing summer mocktail then you could also try the recipe for this delicious Honey & Ginger Lemonade.

Eat to Cool Down

Drinking water and cold drinks is not the only way to stay hydrated this summer. In fact, there is a range of foods you can eat that will increase your water intake.

Try watermelon, cucumber, celery, strawberries, oranges, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, and leafy greens like lettuce and spinach as they have high water content.

In the hot weather, it’s also worth considering lighter meals. Heavy and calorie-dense meals can make you feel sluggish as your digestive system works hard to break down the food you’ve eaten. While eating smaller amounts, eating over a longer time, or indulging your Mediterranean side with multiple smaller courses, could all help you eat better in the heat.

Snack on seasonal berries

Compounds in berries such as raspberries and blackcurrants can help guard against high blood pressure, research has found – those eating the most anthocyanin-rich berries significantly slash their risk.1 Another study found eating three or more weekly servings of strawberries and blueberries could cut risk of heart attack by a third in women.2 Try topping a bowl of fresh berries with coconut yoghurt and a swirl of Manuka honey for a delicious sweet flavour.

Zap Summer Colds

The same rules apply in the summer as in the winter – wash your hands regularly to avoid transferring cold bugs into your body when you touch your nose or eyes, and support your immune system with plenty of rest, stress management and a healthy diet.

If you do pick up a summer cold, you could try hot water with lemon juice, ginger and Manuka honey.

NICE guidelines recommend honey for soothing coughs, and a 2016 review of research showed Manuka has anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. This paper also noted some preliminary research has suggested Manuka honey may have antiviral properties, potentially meaning it could help your body fight cold and flu bugs, although further studies are needed.3

Product recommendation: if your summer cough is giving you a sore throat then try the Vitamin D Spray with Manuka Honey and Propolis. Take 2-3 sprays 3 times per day. You can learn more about the benefits of Propolis here.

Ease your Hay Fever and Allergy Symptoms

Summer in the UK brings an increase in pollen levels, leaving many suffering from symptoms such as sneezing, running eyes, sore throats and coughing.

You can read my Hay Fever Hacks in this blog post and get some tips on how to make the most of the summer.

Product recommendation: ease your allergy symptoms with the daily Allergy Supplement from Manuka Doctor. Allergee is a natural antimhistamine supplement with Turmeric, Vitamin C and Vitamin D.

Article References

1 Jennings A et al. Higher anthocyanin intake is associated with lower arterial stiffness and central blood pressure in women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 96, Issue 4, October 2012, Pages 781–788

2 Cassidy A et al. High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women. Circulation. 2013;127:188–196

3 Carter DA, Blair S, Cocketin NN et al. Therapeutic manuka honey: no longer so alternative. Front Microbiol. 2016; 7: 569.