Surviving boozy summer parties

Nutritional expert Simon Bandy from Seaford based Health Plus gives some top tips on how to survive the summer party season:

Christmas may be known as the party season, but boozy summer barbecues and social occasions often tend to get overlooked when it comes to having an effect on our health.

The hot summer sun is cheerful and great for increasing our vitamin D levels, but drinking alcohol in the blazing heat, which often goes hand in hand with summer parties, may lead to dehydration, headaches and an overworked liver. At the same time, stuffing our faces with high calorie barbecue food can lead to bloating, indigestion and of course, extra pounds on the waistline! But going to summer social occasions doesn’t have to mean we forget about looking after ourselves. Here are my top tips to staying healthy during the summer social scene:

Drink water and watch your alcohol intake: It’s easy to forget about drinking water when you’re at a boozy summer BBQ, but keeping yourself hydrated with plenty of water is essential, particularly in the sun. Try alternating your alcohol-based drinks with a refreshing glass of iced lemon water to stay refreshed and hydrated.

Health Plus’ Liver Kind supplements (£10.95 for 30 tablets), contain key nutrients to help protect the health of your liver specifically. The unique combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and artichoke can also help to detoxify the body.

Wear a hat and sun lotion: Either wearing a sunhat or staying in the shade can decrease the chance of getting heat or sun stroke. With the sun’s rays being stronger than ever, it’s important to protect your skin too, by wearing a high factor sun lotion.

Diet: Whilst burgers and sausages are tasty, they’re not so good for our waistlines or cholesterol levels! Here are my mini tips on how to be a bit healthier when temptation awaits:

Salad can be tasty too: OK, so a salad might not be the same as eating a big juicy steak, but salads can genuinely be super tasty and low-fat alternatives to meat. My favourite summer salad recipe is green salad with strawberries and goats cheese. Mix up a variety of salad leaves, rocket and watercress in a salad bowl, then crumble goats’ cheese over the top and add sliced strawberries. Drizzle a mixture of maple syrup, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper over the salad and toss to coat. Serve and eat!

Swap meat for fish: Grilled fish on the barbecue is delicious – you won’t know what you’re missing until you’ve tried it! And, it’s much healthier alternative to red meat. If you’re not a fan of ‘strong’ fish, try marinating a ‘meaty’ tuna steak with olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and place on the barbecue at a high heat for approximately two minutes each side. Serve with salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumber for a tasty but healthy barbecue meal.

Choose a fruit based desert: Summer berries such as strawberries, blueberries and blackberries are packed full of anti-oxidants which can protect our skin cells, boost immunity and slow many signs of ageing. A fruit salad is really refreshing during hot weather, and low in calories. Just go easy on the ice cream on the side!

Stay cool: Becoming overheated can cause headaches, rashes and worse! If you are a sun-worshipper, it’s important to cool down regularly. Buy a mini hand-held fan, water spritzer or simply run cold water (or hold ice) on your pulse points, such as wrists, neck and inner-elbows to stay refreshed and cool.

Protect your eyes: Wearing sunglasses can help to reduce harmful UV rays. Make sure you have a good quality pair that is CE and BSEN marked, preferably to level 4, which offers the highest level of protection.

Have fun: Most of all, remember to have fun, enjoy the sun and make the most of the (rare) warm weather.

Simon Bandy is a natural supplements expert for Health Plus; a Seaford based business established over 20 years ago with a mission to promote optimum nutrition across the world. Family-owned and run since November 1991, the company supplies a wide range of British made, high quality nutritional supplements at www.healthplus.co.uk