Thank you to Bio-Kult for partnering on the following sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
The hot summer weather of August is fully upon us. While eating healthier can be easier because of the abundance of fresh fruits and veggies available from home gardens and farmers markets, grabbing a sugary soda or bag of salty chips while running around in the sun can be all too easy. Heat easily dehydrates, which can lead to digestive upsets and other health problems. Overindulging on sugary or fatty sweets after spending the day outside can also cause tummy troubles. To stay healthy over the summer and feel my best from the inside out, I follow a few simple rules: drink plenty of fluids, use sunscreen, eat a well-balanced diet, and take probiotics like Bio-Kult.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
With summer heat and humidity comes an increased risk of dehydration. Dehydration occurs when your body loses more fluid than consumed, resulting in an inadequate amount of water for the body to perform normal functions. Heat causes us to sweat, and, if we do not drink enough water to replace the fluids lost through sweating, we can quickly become dehydrated. Dehydration increases the risk of heat illness such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Not drinking enough each day can also cause less serious complaints such as constipation and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
I am prone to UTIs, and, after a particularly bad one during my pregnancy with my first baby, I made a habit of drinking more throughout the day. I stick mainly to unsweetened tea and plain water, but I also enjoy a glass of milk or homemade seltzer flavored with a few drops of lemon or lime juice each day. I generally avoid alcoholic, sugary, and caffeinated drinks — especially during the heat of the summer — because alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are all dehydrating and can mess with the balance of good bacteria in the gut. I try not to let myself actually get thirsty but instead take a drink every time I walk through my kitchen. How much water you need each day depends on many factors including body size, activity level, and temperature, but, if you feel thirsty or are not urinating much or often or experience constipation, then you should probably up your fluid intake.
I have extremely fair skin, and so do both of my children. I joke that I burn just thinking about the sun. Before heading outside for more than ten to fifteen minutes, I make a habit of liberally applying a broad-spectrum SPF 50 sunscreen to protect myself from the damaging rays of the sun. While a little bit of sunshine helps the body produce vitamin D, too much can lead to sunburn, which significantly increases the risk of skin cancer down the road. SPF 30 blocks 97 percent of UVB rays, and SPF 45 blocks 98 percent. I usually choose SPF 50 because the tear-free baby sunscreen that my kids and I like usually comes with that sun protection factor.
Using sunscreen alone is not enough. You must also apply your sunscreen properly, and too many people do not use enough. The current recommendation is to apply the sunscreen liberally at least half an hour prior to heading outside so that the active ingredients have time to start working. You should also use at least a full shot-glass amount all over your body including your face, neck, and ears. I use enough to make me and my kids look like white ghosts prior to rubbing the sunscreen into our skin. Also reapply regularly, especially after sweating or coming into contact with water such as at the pool or beach.
Eat a Balanced Diet
With summer comes fun food-based activities like cookouts. Summer also brings delicious treats like ice cream and ice pops. However, before you over-indulge on sugary or fatty sweets, remember that a well-balanced diet is an important part of maintaining good health. While I would love to sit on the couch in front of a fan and down popsicles all day like I did when I was a kid visiting my grandparents, I know that eating nothing but sugar all day is a recipe for poor health. Instead I focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet with an occasional treat thrown in the mix for fun.
My diet begins with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. I get most of my protein from lean sources such as beans and fish, and I also love dairy products. I eat a little bit of meat and try to limit my intake of sugar and salt. While I love butter, I cook mostly with olive and other vegetable oils. When I want something sweet, I usually choose fruit. My son is obsessed with blueberries, so I have been eating blueberries multiple times a week this summer! Plain yogurt with some chopped up fruit thrown in also makes for a healthy treat. Plus products like yogurt contain probiotics, which stimulate healthy digestive function and provide other health benefits.
In addition to eating foods like yogurt and kefir that contain probiotics, I also take a probiotic supplement like Bio-Kult. Probiotics are live microorganisms that may provide health benefits when ingested. Research about gut bacteria is ongoing, but the trillions of microflora found in the human gastrointestinal tract play an essential role in supporting and maintaining strong immune and digestive systems. Consider the havoc that antibiotics can cause on digestive, often resulting in diarrhea. Having an optimum balance of beneficial gut bacteria is important for overall health and well-being. If I fail to drink enough water each day and end up with a UTI for which I am prescribed an antibiotic, I always pick up some probiotics to prevent gastrointestinal upsets.
Bio-Kult is a multi-strain probiotic formula that offers support from multiple angles. The original multi-strain Bio-Kult product contains fourteen probiotic strains (more than many other brands) for everyday use to support healthy digestive and immune systems. The probiotic strains are cryoprotected during the freeze drying process, which protect the probiotic from the harsh acid environment of the stomach, therefore allowing the strains to colonize the full length of the gastrointestinal tract. Bio-Kult can also be stored at room temperature without the need for refrigeration. Original multi-strain Bio-Kult is available in 60- and 120-count packages, which have a two-year shelf life. Find a Bio-Kult retailer near you, or follow the brand on Facebook or Twitter.
Staying healthy over the summer and feel my best from the inside out is as easy as drinking plenty of fluids, using sunscreen, eating a well-balanced diet, and taking probiotics like Bio-Kult. Not drinking enough water and eating an unbalanced diet can wreak havoc on the digestive system, but the fourteen probiotic strains in the original multi-strain Bio-Kult can support healthy digestive and immune systems. Stay healthy and survive the hot summer weather by following my few simple tips!
Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own. The information provided in this article is not meant to replace the professional medical advice from your health care provider. All statements about probiotics have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bio-Kilt is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and disease.
Tips for Staying Healthy in Warm Weather: Surviving the Summer with Bio-Kult Probiotics © 2017 Heather Johnson
Tips for Staying Healthy in Warm Weather © 2017 Heather Johnson
Surviving the Summer with Bio-Kult Probiotics © 2017 Heather Johnson
Bio-Kult Probiotics © 2017 Bio-Kult
Bio-Kult © 2017 Bio-Kult
Original Multi-Strain Bio-Kult © 2017 Heather Johnson
Original Multi-Strain Bio-Kult Capsules © 2017 Heather Johnson