by Mary Wright, RN, Health Educator at North End Waterfront Health
Seven tips for a healthy and happy Memorial Day:
- Keep the Bug’s Away. Use store-bought bug spray or try natural alternatives to beat those pesky mosquitoes. You can spray on a diluted liquid garlic concentrate or apply vinegar, tea tree oil or soybean oil on your skin to prevent the bugs from biting. Prime biting time for mosquitoes is at dusk and at dawn. Plant marigolds near your doors or windows to keep them out of your house.
- Instant Headache Relief. During the hot summer months, drink a glass of water to relieve headaches. Often headaches are caused by dehydration and can be alleviated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine. Wearing polarized sunglasses may help with light sensitivity which may cause headaches.
- Protect Against Sunburns. In addition to sunscreen, load up on red, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables. These have carotenoids that may help naturally reduce sunburn risk.
- Safe Grilling. Coat both meats and the grill with olive oil to ensure great flavor, but avoid potential carcinogens. Many like the flavor of meats with a bit of char (blackening), but research has shown this method can create harmful substances called heterocyclic amines. Remember to use separate platters for raw and cooked meat to prevent the spread of bacteria.
- Go Lean. Choose leaner meats and marinate them for 24 hours to enjoy the flavor without all the fat this Memorial Day. Fatty meats make for tasty barbecuing, but you can use leaner, healthier meats and make them more tender and flavorful by marinating them. Enjoy the flavor without all the fat.
- Stay Cool with Some Spice. Believe it or not, spicy foods dilate your peripheral blood vessels making you perspire, which in turn cools your body.
- Chill Out. If you’re planning a picnic this weekend, make sure to keep food cool in order to prevent bacteria which can cause food poisoning. Large chunks of ice last longer and keep foods colder. Food that’s sitting un-refrigerated for more than 2 hours should be thrown away. If the temperature reaches 90 degrees or higher, it should not be out of a cooler for longer than 30 minutes.