Warm Spring & Summer months mean going to pool parties, family reunions, and having outdoor happy hours. But the spring and summer heat can wreak havoc on your digestive system. If you have struggled with your digestive health in the past, you may be dreading the changing weather. There are several things you can do to keep your digestive system happy during the hottest months.
1. Stay Hydrated
During the hot summer months, our bodies try to keep us cool by sweating. Replenishing the water lost by sweating is essential. It’s important to be conscious of your water intake and make sure that you’re not getting dehydrated.
One great way to avoid dehydration is to drink water at a moderate pace, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Waiting until you are thirsty may lead you to chug water and end up bloated. A fun tip to increase your water consumption is to flavor it with fruit or cucumber.
Does dehydration caused by hot weather affect digestion? Dehydration can lead to constipation, heatstroke, and nausea — so yes.
2. Eat Slowly
During summer, your body is spending energy to keep your internal temperature down. This diverts energy from other body processes, like digestion. Eating slower gives your digestive system time to keep up with you. To do this, cut your food into small pieces and chew each bite thoroughly. Take your time; enjoy each bite!
3. Practice Food Safety
During cookouts and picnics are staples of summer celebrations. Food-centric events in the summer heat can be hazardous to your digestion. Food that’s left out at the wrong temperature can breed bacteria and lead to food poisoning. Here are a few guidelines to keep your food safe.
- Don’t leave food out for more than four hours.
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.
- Thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens.
- Don’t leave dairy products out
4. Eat More Fiber
It’s important to eat fiber all year, and you probably aren’t getting enough of it. It’s more important in the summer. Digestion slows down when it’s hot, and fiber aids digestion. Give yourself an advantage by eating high-fiber foods. Raw, dark green vegetables are a great choice. Raspberries, mangoes, and papaya are all high-fiber and summery.
5. Exercise Safely
Regular exercise is important to maintaining your health. In summer heat and humidity, it can be more difficult to get in your activity. Exercising outdoors during extreme heat can lead to heat sickness or stroke. If you’re vomiting, dizzy, or nauseated, you may be experiencing symptoms of heatstroke. Go indoors and drink water. If symptoms continue, contact your primary care provider.
Summer weather is no excuse to slack on your activity! Take your workout inside a gym. If you don’t have access to a gym, don’t despair. A walk outside in the morning or evening (when it’s cooler out) is a safe bet. Low-intensity like this can aid in digestion.
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