I’m a nutritionist – here are 10 foods you should be eating now to get in shape for the summer

Preparing for summer can feel like a full-time job.

Between booking a bikini wax before hitting the pool and topping up with sunscreen, there’s also the worry of being “beach body ready.”

Summertime food is all ice cream and grilled food – but if you want to get in shape for bikini season now, put salmon and citrus on the menu


Summertime food is all ice cream and grilled food – but if you want to get in shape for bikini season now, put salmon and citrus on the menuPhoto credit: Getty

Of course, no matter your shape or size, all of our bodies are beach ready—the sun, sea, and sand don’t care how you look in your stuffed animal.

But want feel lighterBeing brighter and healthier over the summer months (and beyond) isn’t a bad plan.

While there is no quick fix, we have Dr. Carrie Ruxton asked Information service for health and dietary supplementsfor some simple nutrition tips to help you get fit for summer and stick to new healthy habits—even when the sun is out again.

1. Protect your skin with carrots

The rich color of carrots and other yellow-orange fruits and vegetables comes from plant-based bioactive compounds called carotenoids.

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Studies show that including these foods in your diet helps protect your skin from sunburn and other damage caused by ultraviolet B light.

Carotenoids are thought to help by absorbing some types of UV light, directly shielding skin cells and scavenging free radicals — harmful forms of oxygen that wriggle around the body and damage cells.

Increase your carotenoid intake by aiming for five daily servings of fruits and vegetables and making sure you include carrots, peppers, cantaloupe and mangoes.

2. Lose a few pounds with intermittent fasting

Almost everyone wants to lose weight for the summer, but somehow time flies and suddenly it’s two weeks until vacation.

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Crash dieting isn’t worth the pain – and the inevitable weight gain – so why not try intermittent fasting?

Consisting of eight hours of normal eating and 16 hours of fasting (just water or herbal tea), the 16:8 plan is a more gentle method than the 5:2 plan, which requires you to maintain 500-600 calories on your fasting days.

Remember to fill up on an AZ multivitamin and multimineral while dieting or you’ll be missing out on important nutrients.

3. Strengthen hair with Biotin and Zinc

Hair often becomes dry and unmanageable in summer due to exposure to the sun and frequent swimming in the pool or sea.

Eating the right nutrients helps nourish your hair follicles, prevent breakage, and provide natural oils that make your hair shiny.

The most important nutrients for the hair are biotin and vitamin B5 as well as zinc.

Good sources include fish, eggs, seeds, nuts, sweet potatoes, beans, and offal like liver and kidneys.

Let your hair dry naturally and keep your use of flat irons to a minimum.

4. Eat salmon for summer immunity

Nothing ruins a summer like a runny nose or the flu, and nobody wants to get a positive PCR just before boarding a plane.

While diet won’t keep you from catching viruses, a healthy diet will put your immune system in better shape to get to work.

We’re all advised to take vitamin D in the winter, but considering what we’ve been through with lockdowns, it’s worth topping up your vitamin D year-round with a supplement.

Vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids are other important nutrients for the immune system. So try to eat salmon once a week and drink a glass of orange juice daily.

5. Use citrus fruits to boost your skin routine

The moisture comes from within, just like the expensive cream that you smear on your face, legs and arms in summer.

Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the skin’s barrier function and helps reduce water loss.

Vitamin C is an important building block for the production of collagen, which naturally plumps up your skin from within.

Berries and citrus are great choices for vitamin C – why not whip up a morning smoothie or add a handful of berries to your breakfast cereal?

Vitamins A and E are also needed for normal skin and are found in kale, broccoli, dairy products, tomatoes and extra virgin canola oil.

Orange juice can help give dry summer skin a lift


Orange juice can help give dry summer skin a liftPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor

6. Protect your eyes with egg yolk

Lutein is a plant bioactive found in parts of the human eye, particularly the macula and retina.

It is said to act as a light filter, protecting the eye tissues from damage caused by sunlight.

Lutein is commonly taken by mouth to prevent eye diseases, including cataracts and a disease that causes vision loss in older adults (age-related macular degeneration).

Several studies have reported the beneficial effects of lutein in protecting against these eye diseases.

Foods rich in lutein include egg yolks, spinach, kale, corn, orange peppers, kiwis, grapes, zucchini, squash, and parsley.

For a quick lunch, make an omelet with a few eggs and a handful of spinach.

7. Fix bloating with fermented foods

Bloating is often caused by gas, especially after eating and drinking too quickly or after fizzy drinks — and doesn’t feel good, let alone when it’s hot and humid.

Constipation, food intolerances or irritable bowel syndrome can lead to too much flatulence in the intestine.

Other factors include an imbalance between healthy and less-healthy bacteria in the gut.

Probiotic foods and drinks can increase the number and type of healthy gut bacteria.

Eat live yogurt or drink kefir daily to restore balance.

Add yogurt to fruit at breakfast, or use it as a base for a salad dressing as a mayonnaise substitute, and throw in things like olive oil and half a teaspoon of horseradish sauce or paprika for a real zing.

Stir up kefir with a frozen banana, a cup of fresh pineapple, or an apple with a tablespoon of seeds for a refreshing probiotic drink.

Alternatively, you can take a quality multi-strain probiotic supplement.

8. Mock up nuts for bone health

We’re often more active in the summer, but there’s no reason to wait until then — and you’ll feel better about your lazy pool time if you start now.

Daily weight-bearing exercise like walking and running will help keep your bones strong.

Bones depend on various nutrients for their structure and strength, including calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, copper, zinc and manganese.

Quality protein is also important for bone health.

Eat dairy products, nuts and seeds for calcium and protein.

Make sure you get your recommended daily allowance of vitamin D (10 micrograms daily) from a dietary supplement.

Take a multivitamin and multimineral supplement to fill up on the rest of the micronutrients needed for bone health.

Premenopausal and postmenopausal women may benefit from targeted combination supplements with higher doses of calcium and vitamin D to help prevent age-related bone loss.

9. Help with hay fever with honey

Hay fever symptoms can be debilitating in spring and summer.

Talk to your pharmacist about effective over-the-counter remedies, such as corticosteroid nasal sprays, antihistamine pills, and eye drops.

Try Golden Eye Drops and/or Ointment if you suffer from red eyes during hay fever season.

Many people also swear by a teaspoon of local honey.

The theory goes that by consuming local honey, you are consuming local pollen.

Many believe this allows your body to build a resistance to pollen, reducing your response to it and relieving pollen-induced hay fever.

There are no definitive studies showing that local honey can help with hay fever symptoms. Honey contains some pollen, but bees tend to collect pollen from flowers rather than grass, which is the biggest contributor to hay fever.

10. Strong nails – don’t forget selenium

We all like our nails to look good, and a broken nail is never good news.

Cracked nails can be the result of poor diet, such as deficiencies in iron, zinc, selenium, and B vitamins.

Biotin deficiency, which is often described as the cause of weak nails, is fairly rare.

It’s best to stick to a healthy diet, including meat (for iron and zinc), eggs, and whole grains.

Selenium intake in the UK diet is low due to the lack of selenium in the soil. Therefore, make sure you are taking a dietary supplement that contains the recommended intake (NRV) for selenium.

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Protect your nails from cleaning chemicals as much as possible by wearing rubber gloves.

Take care of your cuticles and keep them moisturized, especially if you have your hands in the water frequently and plan to spend the summer in and out of the sea or swimming pool.

It shows how carrots can help protect your skin from the sun, while kefir helps reduce bloating in the bikini area


It shows how carrots can help protect your skin from the sun, while kefir helps reduce bloating in the bikini areaPhoto credit: Getty – Contributor I’m a nutritionist – here are 10 foods you should be eating now to get in shape for the summer

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