Summer days just seems good for the soul, don’t they? Sunny skies, warmer temperatures and long evenings do so much more than making our environment more pleasant, they may do wonders for our health too.
Here are 7 top reasons why summer is just what the doctor ordered:
1. We drink more water
There’s nothing better than enjoying a cooling summer drink such as infused water or even a healthy vegetable juice during hot summer days. Our fluid requirements increase when the weather is warmer which ultimately will trigger us to drink more.
As much as 65% of our body consists of water and dehydration can have a huge impact on energy, concentration, short-term memory, and even mood! In fact, even mild dehydration has also been shown to cause a drop in workplace productivity. A large Meta-analysis has concluded that dehydration can impair cognitive performance, particularly for tasks that involve attention and concentration. The researchers found that functions such as complex problem solving and coordination also suffered. 
If you struggle with plain water you could opt for cold-pressed vegetable juice or even a homemade ice-tea.
2. We eat more fruit and veg
Fruit and veg are certainly much juicier and flavoursome when in season. What’s more, on hot sunny days we tend to reach for light, vibrant salads and cooling fresh fruit which can be much more appealing than heavy comfort foods.
In-season summer foods include berries, aubergine, broccoli, cucumber, fennel, rhubarb, tomatoes and watercress which are refreshing options and a powerhouse of health-promoting nutrients.
3. We top up our Vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin for good reason. This nutrient is manufactured within the body when our skin is exposed to sunlight. It’s impossible to get enough of this sunshine vitamin during the winter months. During the spring and summer months spending 15-20 minutes outdoors, each day can help to top up our levels.
Vitamin D plays a key role in bone health, immune function and even plays a role in our mood!
4. Sunlight may relieve some skin complaints
Whilst the mechanism is unclear, many people report that a bit of sun, sea, and sand can do their skin wonders. This is particularly true for specific skin conditions such as psoriasis which appear to improve during the summer months.
Whilst it’s imperative to avoid the midday sun to minimise the risk of burning, a little exposure could improve symptoms and help with that summer glow.
5. Exposure to daylight can help to regulate our sleep
Daylight may actually help to improve our sleep, which ultimately will keep us feeling fresh and happy. Our body has a natural time-keeping clock, which is referred to as our circadian rhythm, and we produce hormones which signal for our body to tell us when it’s time to sleep. Exposure to natural sunlight or bright light during the day can help to keep our circadian rhythm healthy and may improve sleep quality and duration. One study has even shown that day time bright light exposure reduced the time it took insomniacs to fall asleep by as much as 83%. 
6. We spend more time outdoors
Sunny days mean that we spend more time outdoors soaking up the sun’s rays. Research has shown that fresh air and nature are associated with greater vitality. Exercising outdoors can also improve mood and even self-esteem.
What’s more, exposure to sunlight can increase the production of our happy hormone serotonin. During the darker winter months, a lack of light may affect our serotonin levels. This can be particularly problematic for those suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and is why those who are diagnosed may benefit from the use of a lightbox which mimics natural sunlight.[3,4]
7. Sweating is healthy
Sweating has benefits beyond temperature regulation; our skin is one large organ that may be a route for the elimination of toxic elements from the body such as heavy metals.
Don’t fear to sweat in your gym class as it may do more than simply be a sign of a good workout!
Lily is a London Nutritionist who graduated from Newcastle University with a BSc (Hons) degree in Food and Human Nutrition (AfN accredited) where she was awarded the Sage Faculty for Excellence Scholarship on an annual basis. She then went on to complete a 2-year post graduate Diploma in Nutritional Therapy and is currently working towards her MSc in Nutritional Medicine (AfN accredited) at the University of Surrey. Lily’s extensive knowledge of the science of food and health, enables her to regularly write for The Times, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, The Independent, Women’s Health and Cosmopolitan.
Her frequent TV appearances include ITV’s This Morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, and ITV’s primetime series Save Money: Lose Weight with Dr Ranj Singh. Lily’s passion is to simplify the science around nutrition, to provide health hacks and smarter eating strategies to empower people to enjoy a healthy and successful lifestyle. Her specialities lie in workplace wellness, implementing nutrition focused wellbeing programmes within corporate organisations across the UK.
Lily also sees individual clients from her clinic in Chelsea and a private medical practice based in Notting Hill.