It seems like we've waited all year for the sun and warmth to arrive, and as Canadians, it’s safe to say we’ll be living outdoors well into September! While fresh air, sunshine, lush greenery and increased activity are synonymous with better health, the summer season brings its own set of wellness concerns. Be sure to pack these natural essentials for your next weekend adventure:
Natural Mineral Based Sunscreen
Preservatives, artificial fragrances, alcohol, emulsifiers and mineral oils add to the toxic load of conventional chemical sunscreens, creating real cause for concern: these products are potent endocrine disruptors, which means they interfere with normal hormone function, and they generate free radicals, which cause cell damage. Pregnant women and children are at greatest risk. Luckily, natural sunscreens have come a long way since the days of neon zinc oxide! Today’s versions come in lotion or spray form and contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which are safe and found commonly in diaper rash creams. Keep in mind, no sunscreen is truly waterproof so re-application is key.
DEET-free Insect Repellent
Typical insect repellents contain DEET, a Group D (non-human) carcinogen. But does that mean we have to choose between toxic topical sprays and nasty bites? Not anymore. Effective essential oil sprays are finally available and some pack a serious punch! Our favourite essential oil-based repellent by a company called Yemaya has been tested at the University of Guelph and was proven to be 99% effective against mosquitos.
Bite & Sting Treatment
Are you the designated target for insects in your family? It's inevitable, someone will be feasted upon. If you experience itching, swelling, or pain with insect bites, you need to stock your first aid kit with a natural after bite treatment. Try a soothing topical homeopathic gel, or make your own roll on essential oil blend with German Chamomile and Highland Lavender.
A Smoothie Booster
We tend to crave fresh, brightly-coloured fruits and vegetables this time of year yet most of us lack a balanced diet during the summer because we’re so busy. If you love smoothies, a smoothie booster is an ideal way to up the ante and transform the refreshing snack into a complete nutritional supplement. Look for a booster, typically in powder form, that contains protein, fibre, omega 3’s, greens and antioxidants.
Sunscreen isn’t your only defence against intense summer rays. Fish oil and plant-based Omega 3’s offer excellent nourishment for your largest organ (your skin!) by reducing inflammation, preventing premature aging from sun exposure and boosting hydration. Taking an Omega 3 supplement during warmer months is a must!