Summer is in full swing, and it’s almost time for the ultimate summer holiday—The Fourth of July! Here are a few tips to make your holiday more healthy, safe, and fun.
Swap out hotdogs and hamburgers for healthier options.
Cooking meat at high temperatures, such as grilling, produces two chemicals known to increase cancer risk. The American Institute for Cancer Research also recommends limiting red meat and processed meat in your menus.
Instead of grilled meats, try grilling fruit and veggie kabobs or a black bean veggie burger. Here are some ideas for inspiration:
Practice food safety at picnics and BBQs.
Be wary of foods at picnics and BBQs to protect yourself from foodborne illness. If you are immunocompromised, ask to go first through the buffet line. Do not eat any foods that have been left unrefrigerated or uncovered, especially foods that contain mayonnaise, such as pasta or potato salads. Learn more about food safety during summer here.
Stay well hydrated.
Especially if you’re spending more time outside, make sure to stay well hydrated. Drink plenty of water and other caffeine-free fluids. Eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day is a reasonable goal, but ask your healthcare team for a personalized fluid intake goal. Some people, such as cancer patients in chemotherapy, may need more fluids to stay hydrated.
Fun fact: Watermelon counts toward your liquid goal! Have a slice of this perfect summer snack.
Pick red, white, and blue foods.
Did you know that the color of fruits and veggies can give you clues as to why type of phytochemicals and nutrients they provide? To make sure your body is getting all the nutrients you need, eat a variety of fruits and veggies in a rainbow of colors. For the Fourth of July, pick your favorite red, white, and blue fruits and veggies. Learn more about the benefits each color provides here.
Stay safe in the sun.
Take steps to protect your skin from sun damage. Sunburns increase your risk of skin cancers. For people undergoing certain types of cancer treatment, such as radiation, the sun can further irritate skin side effects, such as rashes.
Don’t make these common sun protection mistakes.
- Not wearing enough sunscreen— Adults need about a shot glass full of sunscreen to adequately cover their skin.
- Not reapplying sunscreen regularly— Sunscreen only lasts for about 30-60 minutes. If you are swimming or sweating, you many need to reapply more often.
- Relying only on sunscreen for sun protection— The best sun protection comes from covering your skin with clothes and hats. Stay indoors or in the shade from 10:00am to 2:00pm when the sun’s rays are strongest.
Learn more about skin protection from The Skin Cancer Foundation.
Be safe at the pool or the amusement park.
Do your holiday plans include a trip to the pool or an amusement park? First, ask your healthcare team if the pool or amusement park is safe for you. For example, swimming in public pools can be a risk for infection for people with weakened immune system. As a cancer patient, you may need to take a few steps to keep yourself safe. Learn more about pool safety and amusement park safety.
From everyone at PearlPoint Nutrition ServicesSM, we wish you a happy Fourth of July!