Today we offer you a guest blog written by a good friend of ours Scott Laird. Scott is a Naturopath and works for a great organization called A Rood Awakening. Enjoy his excellent writing!
3 Summer Health Hacks
by Scott Laird, ND
Usually, when someone sees or hears the term “hack” they think of a quick fix or a magic bullet that will solve all their problems. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
If you’re already familiar with the Hallelujah Diet, so you know that any truly effective change to one’s health is a lifestyle change, not a quick fix. Fad diets or a 3-day cleanse here and there miss the point, and they won’t work in the long run.
However, if you’ve made a decision to leave behind your old diet and lifestyle for good, there are indeed some quick things you can do to give your healthy new lifestyle a kickstart or even improve the healthy, Hallelujah Diet journey you’re already on. Here are 3 health “hacks” you can add to your regimen this summer:
1. Never eat wheat-based products after sun exposure.
If you spend enough time in the sun to cause sunburn, you have created competition within your body for Vitamin F (essential fatty acids, best source of which is safflower oil although olive oil is a good option, too).
Here’s what happens… your body uses Vitamin F to maintain skin health, but it also uses it to absorb nutrients from wheat. If you get a sunburn, your body declares an emergency, using all of its available Vitamin F to heal the sunburn, leaving nothing to handle foods containing wheat. The result is a wheat allergy.
How do you know if you are experiencing it? You’ll be tired (also caused by sweating out sodium and potassium), you may get a summer cold sore out of nowhere, or even get an ear infection specifically in the RIGHT ear (often mistaken for swimmer’s ear). So, avoid the burger buns and pizza, even the plant-based versions!
2. Avoid showering with soap after sun exposure.
Believe it or not, it is possible to wash away vitamin D after being in the sun! When UV light comes into contact with the oils on your skin, a chemical reaction takes place that creates vitamin D (which is technically a hormone, by the way). However, your body cannot benefit from it until the oils are absorbed into your skin and thus, into your bloodstream.
If you wash freshly sun-exposed skin with soap, you literally wash away the vitamin D before it has a chance to get into your bloodstream. In fact, this strange fact was proven in a study way back in 1937.
The best thing to do is to let the oils absorb over 24 hours or so before washing sun-exposed skin with soap (it’s OK to use soap on skin not exposed to the sun).
3. Eat dark-skinned tomatoes in summer.
The lycopene in tomatoes provides a UV-protective effect. But here’s something interesting: just as people with darker skin have built-in UV protection, the darker a tomato’s skin, the more potent its UV-protective effects. Neat huh?
Here’s something else.
Lycopene has amazing anti-cancer properties, but most of it is contained in the skin of a tomato. This means that cherry tomatoes offer more anti-cancer benefits than larger tomatoes because, ounce for ounce, smaller tomatoes have more skin than larger ones.
Tomatoes are good for your eyes, too. In fact, one study showed that people with low levels of lycopene were twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. Zeaxanthin, another compound in tomatoes, also helps to ward off the disease.
Cooking tomatoes in oil helps your body absorb even more of these helpful compounds; and cooking tomatoes will actually increase the amount of lycopene, too!
Tomatoes are also thought to help prevent breast and cervical cancers, and are used in alternative treatments for aggressive, metastasized cancers.
Apples are great, but with all these benefits, maybe "a tomato a day" is even better!
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