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BE SKIN SMART WITH THESE 5 FOODS 1024 1024 Delphine Remy | Holistic Nutrition & Eating Psychology Coach

Last month we celebrated Skin Cancer Awareness Month in honor of the 3 million men and women diagnosed annually with skin cancer such as Melanoma in the United States. Making it the most common form of cancer in the United States. While Melanoma accounts for less than 1% of skin cancer cases, it does account for the majority of skin cancer deaths in the US. These statistics are frightening but true and we want to make sure people are taking preventative action this summer to protect themselves from being another statistic.

Sun Benefits. The Vitamin D found in sun exposure has long been known to improve bone health. Vitamin D stimulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the body which strengthens bone density. Vitamin D is also the active ingredient in skin repair damages and disorders to the outer layers of the skin such as psoriasis, acne, and eczema. On the flip side, the UVA rays produced by the sun can cause premature aging, wrinkling and contribute to Melanoma. The sun has wonderful healing qualities but excessive sun exposure can also cause damage.

I would like to take this time to educate you on a few foods you can introduce into your summer diet that can be used as natural edible SPFs in addition to your sunblock, of course.

Chocolate. Yes. Chocolate high in flavonoids (antioxidants found in dark chocolates) can protect against sunburns and UV damage. Studies show that ingestion of high flavanol improves skin thickness, hydration and microcirculation therefore providing the skin it needs to protect itself.

Wine. And the good news continues — Wine is good for you folks. Not only can it be used for therapeutic facials to de-stress and rejuvenate the skin but red wine is packed with the same antioxidants found in chocolate (flavonoids). These antioxidants fill in wrinkles, restore collagen. The application of red wine topically can reduce lighten pigmentation caused by sun damage. Red wine is also very rich in amino acids that boost skin renewal and fight harmful rays so go ahead and stock up on the red wine this summer. Doctor’s orders.

Vegetables. Carrots, melons, mangos or sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and loaded with antioxidants and vitamins that absorb the benefits of the sun and protect against sun damage. Tomatoes also made the list for veggies against sun damage, so add red and orange to your plate! So before you head out to the lake this summer for a day on the water, pack yourself a leafy spinach salad filled with tomatoes, black bean and eggplant, drizzled with a little olive oil to keep your skin safe and beautiful.

Ellagic Acid. You’ve mostly like never heard this term used. Ellagic Acid is a plant derived polyphenol that protects against UV damage by blocking production of MMP, which are enzymes that break down collagen in damaged skin, and fights cancer. The highest concentrations of this acid are found in strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pomegranate, walnuts, and pecans.

Studies show that omega-3s can help protect against skin cancer. Results of a study funded by the Association for International Cancer Research found that taking regular doses of fish oil boosts skin immunity to sunlight but more impressively, reduces sunlight’s induced suppression of the immune system which affects the body’s ability to fight infectious diseases such as skin cancer.
If fish is not for you — no problem. Omega 3s can also be found in flax seeds, spinach, edamame and walnuts; as well as in spices such as basil, oregano and cloves.

It’s important to note that while the foods above aid the body in rejuvenation and restoration of skin or sun damage, they do not serve as a replacement for sunscreen. Please continue to hydrate, wear a hat to control the body’s temperature and wear sunscreen with a high SPF.


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