We have been conditioned to believe that the sunlight is bad for us and we have to protect ourselves with sun-lotions, sunglasses and clothes. At the same time all nature need sunlight, plants cant grow or animals cant live without it. Truth is that the sun is not actually bad for us, we need the sun to be healthy. Using sun-protection products actually cause more harm to us than being in the sun and getting sunburned. I highly recommend to read the entire article below (by Andreas Moritz), it is really eye-opening and informative.
There is a lot of information in this post, and there are many complications in our relationship with the sun. Here I will summarize some of the best practices that will help keep your skin safe from chemicals and UV radiation, while still getting enough vitamin D.
Follow the nutrition guidelines below. Nutrition has a really big part in natural sun-protection. Balance your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio, and consume as many antioxidants as possible. Eat whole plant-based foods.
Get regular, small amounts of sun exposure during the middle of the day for vitamin D. A blanket recommendation for how much time to spend in the sun per day is impossible, because there are so many factors at play here. Your latitude and skin pigmentation are two of the biggest ones. If you live further from the equator or have darker skin, you need more time. Get exposure over a large portion of your body, without sunscreen or other sun protection. In Northern climates use sunbaths, make sure they are high quality and take short sessions and avoid skin burning.
Moderate your exposure to the sun. Try not to be exposed for long periods of time in order to avoid burning. Avoid peak hours in the middle of the day 11-12 am. As much as it may suck, covering up with clothes will help prevent sun damage, so do it if you must.
If you must use a sunscreen, find one with fewer chemicals ore use natural oils. Most of the safer ones don’t absorb into your skin, but rather stay on top of it, so they are more noticeable.
If you follow these recommendations, you’ll be able to balance the complicated needs of getting enough sun for your health but not getting too much to get burned. And remember- getting some sun is vital for all living beings and covering ourselves with chemical- laden sunscreens and wearing sunglasses is not doing us any good.
Sunglasses and Sunscreens—A Major Cause of Cancer
Unfortunately, the ultraviolet portion of sunlight is the most easily eliminated by windows, houses, spectacles, sunglasses, sun lotions, and clothing. And why is that at a bad thing? Because ultraviolet light constitutes one of the most powerful natural medicines the world has ever seen. By the year 1933, researchers found there were over 165 different diseases for which sunlight proved to be a beneficial treatment, including tuberculosis, hypertension, diabetes, and almost every type of cancer. To this day, no other treatment has shown such a wide range of benefits as sunlight.
The miraculous complete cures of tuberculosis and many other diseases facilitated by doctors in the early twentieth century made headlines at the time. Remarkably, though, the sun’s healing rays remained ineffective if the patients wore sunglasses. Sunglasses block out important rays of the light spectrum which the body requires for essential biological functions. Today, for whatever sinister reasons, the population is being bombarded with warnings about sunbathing and the risks of skin cancer.
The sun is now considered the main culprit for causing skin cancer, certain cataracts leading to blindness, and aging of the skin. Only those who take the “risk” of exposing themselves to sunlight find that the sun actually makes them feel better, provided they don’t use sunglasses, sunscreens or burn their skin. The UV-rays in sunlight actually stimulate the thyroid gland to increase hormone production, which in turn increases the body’s basal metabolic rate. This assists both in weight loss and improved muscle development. Farm animals fatten much faster when kept indoors, and so do people who stay out of the sun. Therefore, if you want to lose weight or increase your muscle tone,expose your body to the sun on a regular basis. Remember, being overweight or obese is major risk factor for developing cancer.
Any person who misses out on sunlight becomes weak and suffers mental and physical problems as a result. His vital energy diminishes in due time, which is reflected in his quality of life. The populations in Northern European countries like Norway and Finland, which experience months of darkness every year, have a higher incidence of irritability, fatigue, illness, insomnia, depression, alcoholism, and suicide than those living in the sunny parts of the world. Their skin cancer rates are higher, too. For example, the incidence of melanoma (skin cancer) on the Orkney and Shetland Isles, north of Scotland, is 10 times that of Mediterranean islands.
UV light is known to activate an important skin hormone called solitrol. Solitrol influences our immune system and many of our body’s regulatory centers, and, in conjunction with the pineal hormone melatonin, causes changes in mood and daily biological rhythms. The hemoglobin in our red blood cells requires ultraviolet (UV) light to bind to the oxygen needed for all cellular functions. Lack of sunlight can, therefore, be held co-responsible for almost any kind of illness, including skin cancer and other forms of cancer. Using sun protection protects only the multi-billion dollar sunscreen and cancer industry but not your skin or your life. Consider these remarkable scientifically proven facts:
- improves electrocardiogram readings
- lowers blood pressure and resting heart rate
- improves cardiac output when needed (not contradictory to lower resting heart rate)
- reduces cholesterol, if required
- increases glycogen stores in the liver
- balances blood sugar
- enhances energy, endurance, and muscular strength
- improves the body’s resistance to infections due to an increase of lymphocytes and phagocytic index (the average number of bacteria ingested per leukocyte of the patient’s blood)
- enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood
- increases sex hormones
- improves resistance of the skin to infections
- raises one’s tolerance to stress and reduces depression. On the other hand, there is not a single scientific study which can prove that sunlight itself is responsible for causing skin cancers or other illnesses. There are always other factors present, such as acidosis of the tissues (due to eating an overly acidifying diet consisting of animal proteins, trans fatty acids, and manufactured foods and beverages), most pharmaceutical drugs, an accumulation of heavy metals and harmful chemicals in the tissues, toxic blood, a severely congested liver, an unbalanced lifestyle, and foremost of all, sunglasses and sunscreens.The human body was designed to absorb UV light for very good reasons; otherwise we would have been born with a natural sunscreen for UV light on our skin and in our eyes. One of the most important reasons is that UV radiation is necessary for normal cell division. A lack of sunlight disrupts normal cell growth, which can lead to cancer. The wearing of sunglasses, including regular UV-reflecting spectacles and contact lenses, is largely responsible for certain degenerative eye diseases, such as macular degeneration. Most people who use sunglasses on a regular basis report continuously weakening eyesight.
Depriving your eyes of adequate exposure to ultraviolet light can have serious consequences for your skin and even risk you life. Normally, as soon as the optic nerves of your eyes sense sunlight, your pituitary gland produces hormones that act as boosters for your melanocytes. Melanocytes produce melanin, the pigment that gives skin its natural color and protection against sunburn. When skin is exposed to the sun, melanocytes produce more pigment, causing the skin to tan, or darken, and your melanocytes start producing melanin on overdrive. However, when you wear sunglasses, this process becomes disrupted. Instead of kick-starting the melanocyte production to protect your skin against sunburn, your pituitary glands thinks it is getting dark outside and, thus, it greatly reduces production of melanocyte-stimulating hormones. Subsequently, your skin produces less melanin, which causes it to less protected and thus become damaged.
The dramatically increased incidence of skin damage seemingly caused by the sun (but really by wearing sunglasses) is exploited by the sunscreen and cancer industry. The main reason the dermatology industry promotes sunscreen products is because it is heavily funded by sunscreen manufacturers. The pharmaceutical and medical industries never intended to cure diseases. Right from the beginning, it was their intention to make a lot of money by producing drugs and chemicals that would making up new diseases for which they would develop specific drugs and procedures to relieve symptoms but never really eliminate them. In the above example of sunlight, by advertising the dangers of sunlight and promoting the use of sunglasses and sunscreens, the pharma/medical industry made certain the number of skin cancers and numerous other health problems would increase. They then recommended the appropriate treatments to combat these diseases, which in turn will lead to further escalations of these same diseases. These principals of psychological deception are well known to the industry and are applied to almost every so-called disease. The result is that nearly every person in the United States already has or will develop one or several serious illnesses at some stage in their lives. Something as “harmless” as sunglasses or sunscreens has created a health disaster of unimaginable proportions.
As the health author web site NaturalNews reported recently, a CDC study shows that 97 percent of Americans are contaminated with an extremely toxic sunscreen chemical called oxybenzone. This chemical is found in nearly 600 sunscreen products, including children’s formulas. Most sun-blocking creams and lotions also contain avobenzone for broad-spectrum protection against short- and long-wave UVA rays which are falsely considered to be the main culprits responsible for long-term skin damage. Most sunscreens also contain a cocktail of a dozen or more cancer- promoting fragrance chemicals and numerous petrochemical-derived synthetic substances. Many of these carcinogenic chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin, much to the annoyance of the consumer who has to keep reapplying the “protective”sunscreens.
The producers of these products claim that most of the harmful chemicals becomes degraded in the presence of sunlight and must therefore be safe for the consumer, a claim that is outright false since almost every person in America is contaminated by sunscreen chemicals (according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Avobenzone [butyl-methyoxydibenzoylmethane and oxybenzone particualry penetrate the skin very quickly. Other chemicals found in sunscreens include dixoybenzone, PABA and PABA esters (ethyl dihydroxy propyl PAB, glyceryl PABA, p-aminobenzoic acid, padimate-O or octyl dimethyl PABA, Cinnamates (cinoxate, ethylhexyl p- methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate), Salicylates (ethylhexyl salicylate, homosalate, octyl salicylate), Digalloyl trioleate and Menthyl anthranilate.
There is an almost complete lack of any adequate safety testing of these chemicals. Cosmetics contain them, too, and the body absorbs them like a sponge.
Many heavily-used chemical sunscreens have a strong free radical generating effect, which is the main reason behind skin cancer. Chemists use such chemicals to start free radical reactions during chemical synthesis. These chemicals are so dangerous that those who handle them in a laboratory must keep them away from their skin. When combined with other chemicals and exposed to ultraviolet light, they then generate the copious amounts of free radicals required to bring about the desired chemical reactions. On your skin, however, such chemical reactions, are everything but desirable.
Oxybenzone, for example, which is found in 97% of Americans, is activated by ultraviolet light that breaks its double bond to produce two free radical sites. These free radicals then oxidize and damage fats, proteins, and DNA of the cells—the types of damage that occur in skin aging and the development of skin cancers.
One major study looked at how sunscreens could increase melanoma risk. Its team of researchers, Garland, Cedric F., et al, found that worldwide, the greatest rise in melanoma has occurred in countries where chemical sunscreens has been heavily promoted by the medical establishment and pharma/chemical industry. Queensland now has more incidences of melanoma per capita than any other place on Earth. The study was published by American Journal of Public Health, Vol. 82, No. 4, April 1992, pp. 614-15.
The question why the incidence of skin cancer has increased so dramatically since the massive promotion of sunscreens should have raised a red flag among consumers, but, instead, it made them lather their skin with even more of these deadly chemicals. The mass media (financed largely by drug giants) made certain, the population would not hear about such important studies as the following ones:
Dr. Gordon Ainsleigh in California found that the 17% increase in breast cancer observed between 1981 and 1992 may be the result of the pervasive use of sunscreens over the past decade (Ainsleigh, H. Gordon. Beneficial effects of sun exposure on cancer mortality. Preventive Medicine, Vol. 22, February 1993, pp. 132-40).
According to several studies, men who regularly use sunscreens have a higher rate of melanoma, and woman using sunscreens have a higher rate of basal cell carcinoma. (Garland, Cedric F. et al. Effect of sunscreens on UV radiation-induced enhancement of melanoma growth. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 10, May 18, 1994, pp. 798-801 :Larsen, H.R. prevent skin cancer because they prevent sunburn, implying that skin cancers are caused by sunburn. But this is more a correlation than a cause-effect relationship. More recent studies done in England and Australia actually found much higher skin cancer rates among people who live mostly indoors compared with those who spend most of their time outdoors.
As Drs. Cedric and Frank Garland of the University of California have pointed out, there is no scientific proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma or basal cell carcinoma in humans (Garland, C.F., et al. “Could sunscreens increase melanoma risk?” American Journal of Public Health, 1992; 82(4): 614-615.) According to the Garlands, the increased use of chemical sunscreens is the primary cause of the skin cancer epidemic. A study by Drs. Mike Brown (Kate Law of the Cancer Research Campaign) Philippe Autier (European Institute of Oncology in Milan) reported that children using sunscreen returned from holiday with more skin moles—a possible sign of increased cancer risk. Whether or not sunscreens increase the risk of developing skin cancer, at least there is overwhelming evidence that sunscreens don’t prevent skin cancer.
In February 1998, epidemiologist Marianne Berwick of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York presented a careful analysis of data on sunscreen use and skin cancer at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Sunscreens may not protect against skin cancer, including melanoma, she concluded. “We don’t really know whether sunscreens prevent skin cancer,” said Dr. Berwick. “After examining the available epidemiological data and conducting our own large case-control population-based study, we have found no relationship between sunscreen use at any age and the development of melanoma skin cancer,” said Dr. Berwick. Although sunscreens do prevent sunburn, Dr. Berwick concluded that sunburn itself is not the direct cause of cancer. She argued that if people develop melanoma, it may be because they are genetically susceptible and likely to develop skin cancer regardless of the amount of sunlight exposure or protection from sunscreen.1 Dr. Berwick objected to the universal blanket advice about using sunscreens during all time spent outdoors.
Dr. Berwick’s previously conducted research (1996) found no relationship between a history of sunburn and the development of melanoma.
The American Academy of Dermatology (ADA), which is largely funded through advertising sunscreen and skin care products, of course strongly condemned Dr. Berwick’s research and called her a “number crunching scientist.” I guess that’s what scientists do, crunch numbers.
Now back to what sunscreens can actually do to you. They may not only be responsible for melanomas, but for many other types of cancer and dysfunctions as well. What’s most disturbing is that many commonly used sunscreen chemicals have strong estrogenic actions which may seriously affect sexual development in children and sexual function in adults, and further increase cancer risks. Exposing your body to chemicals that can alter hormonal balance puts your health at great risk, to put it mildly.
Of course, the sunscreen industry neglects to inform you that there is not much difference between drinking your sunscreen lotion and lathering it on your skin, except ingesting it would actually cause you much less harm because your digestive system would filter out most of the poison. The skin has no other option than to dump this cocktail of carcinogens right into the circulatory system, and from there, into the liver, kidneys, heart and brain. I will leave it to your imagination what such a chemical assault means for these vital organs.
The Vitamin-D Factor
Sunglasses and sunscreen agents are among the most health-endangering products that exist because they block absorption of ultraviolet rays which your body needs to produce vitamin D. Besides hindering the essential exposure of your eyes and skin to the rays of the sun, the use of sunscreens and sunglasses is largely responsible for the chronic vitamin D deficiency that plagues 80% of the American population. Vitamin D– deficiency is associated with depression, prostate cancer, breast cancer, osteoporosis and almost every other degenerative disorder. “The elderly, who spend little time in the sun and use sunscreen agents frequently, may be at risk for vitamin D deficiency,” according to a statement made by the Mayo Clinic. Vitamin D deficiency is strongly associated with bone disease and fracture. Makes you wonder why so many elderly people suffer from bone disorders.
New research findings (published in the Archives of Internal Medicine June 9, 2008; 168(11):1174-1180) join a growing body of evidence indicating that an adequate level of vitamin D, which you can obtain by spending an average of 20 minutes in the sun each day (dark-skinned people may need an hour or more), is crucial to maintaining good health. Men who are deficient in vitamin D were found to have more than double the normal risk of suffering a heart attack or dying even after all other possible risk factors such as hypertension, obesity and high levels of blood fat were excluded. In addition, low levels of vitamin D showed an increased of developing diabetes and dying from breast cancer.
And yet another new study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine June 23, 2008;168(12):1340-1349, shows that sunshine can cut your risk in half. This is what USA Today reported on June 23, 2008:
Having low vitamin D levels has been linked with deaths from heart disease and other causes, adding to growing evidence about the “sunshine” vitamin’s role in good health.
People with the lowest blood levels of vitamin D were about two times more likely to die from any cause during an eight-year period than those with the highest levels. The link with heart-related deaths was particularly strong in those with low vitamin D levels.
The study involved over 3,000 men and women in southwest Germany. Participants were aged 62 on average, and their vitamin D levels were checked in weekly blood tests.
It’s estimated that at least 50 percent of older adults worldwide have low vitamin D levels, and a significant number of younger people may also be affected. Low vitamin D levels may result from spending less time outdoors, air pollution and a decline in your skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from the sun as you age, the researchers said.
You can’t be Happy and Healthy without It— The Serotonin Connection
Medical researchers are growing increasingly excited about a wonder drug that may significantly reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other diseases—sunshine. Amazingly, one of nature’s best medicines is right outside your doorstep, but many people choose to ignore it. We all know that plants and animals deprived of adequate sunlight become sick. Is it so surprising to find that humans could actually suffer the same fate? After all, the human body was genetically designed to be outdoors most of the time. By contrast, most people in the modernized world spend most of their time indoors.
Spending most of the time inside buildings—cut off from the UV light and other healing rays of the sun—creates an enormous challenge for the body, mind and emotions. Ultimately, all hormones in the body are regulated by the circadian rhythm (day and night cycle). The powerful neurotransmitter and intestinal hormone serotonin closely follows the “movement” of the sun in respect to the earth. Peak secretion occurs during noon time when the sun’s intensity is the strongest.
In the central nervous system, serotonin plays an important role as a neurotransmitter (hormone) in the modulation of anger, depression, aggression, body temperature, mood, sleep, sexuality, appetite, and metabolism. In the gastrointestinal tract, which contains about 90% of the body’s total serotonin, it is responsible for balanced digestive functions. In the blood, the major storage site is platelets, which collect serotonin for use in mediating post-injury vasoconstriction. Recent research suggests that serotonin plays an important role in liver regeneration and acts as a mitogen (induces cell division) throughout the body. Failed induction of cell division is a leading cause of cancer.
In addition, recent Italian research conducted at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Monterotondo found that defective signaling of serotonin in the brain may be at the root cause of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). This makes a lot of sense. Newly born babies who are being kept in dark rooms and rarely get out into the sun are deprived of vitamin D (purposefully not supplied by mother’s milk) and produce little or no serotonin. Worldwide, many more babies die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) in one year than who die of cancer, heart disease, pneumonia, child abuse, Cystic Fibrosis and Muscular Dystrophy combined. The Italian research shows that the tested mice suffered drops in heart rate and other symptoms of SIDS, and many of the animals died at an early age. Low levels of serotonin in the animals’ brainstems, which control heartbeat and breathing, may have caused sudden death, researchers said in the July 4, 2008 issue of Science. Since serotonin in humans controls about the same functions as in mice, researchers believe that the same phenomenon occurs in human infants.
The implications of all the existing research conducted on serotonin are wide-reaching. Any prolonged imbalance of serotonin levels in the body affects the most basic functions in the body. Although, fruits and vegetables contain serotonin, to digest these foods you require a healthy digestive system. The digestive system follows its own schedule, controlled by the serotonin cycle.
The serotonin cycle, in turn, follows the circadian rhythm. This makes sunlight to be the most powerful and natural sustainer of life and health. Sunlight is pure medicine, and it’s free.
More points to consider:
Plan to avoid unnecessary or prolonged exposure to sunlight, especially during the midday period, but avoid protective clothing, sunglasses, and sunscreen. Many drugs, such as LIPITOR/Atorvastatin, belladonna, furosemide, quinine, tetracycline, and doxycycline may make your eyes and skin sensitive to sunlight. Medication, stimulants such as caffeine, nicotine, and adrenaline, and illegal drugs can dilate the pupil, thereby allowing an excessive amount of light to enter the eye. This side effect may lead to the inappropriate use of sunglasses.
Highly acid-forming foods, including meat, eggs, cheese, fried foods, and sugar, may also make your eyes and skin prone to sun damage. Accordingly, you may find you can never leave the house without sunglasses. It is a pretty serious condition when the sun becomes so dangerous that you have to hide from it. The net result is, that not getting enough sunlight lowers your vitamin D and serotonin levels and thereby increases your risk of cancer and many other illnesses.
Also be aware that most cosmetics now contain UV-blocking chemicals. These include face creams, makeup products, moisturizers, lotions and anti-wrinkle creams.
NATURAL OILS FOR SUN PROTECTION
There has been a lot of chatter on the inter-webs lately about using coconut oil and other oils for sunscreens – amazing that plants actually have natural sun protection in them, isn’t it? However, there are a few things you should know before you slather on coconut oil and pop out into the sun. Not all oils’ Sun Protection Factor (SPF) are created equal, and not all are strong enough for everyone.
For those choosing coconut oil to be their sun protection of choice, I would heed warning that the SPF factor ranges from 2 – 8 SFP (depending on the quality of oil). For dark skinned beauties, this might not be a big issue, but I would still be wary for anti-aging purposes.
If you’re looking to wear plain oil as your sunscreen of choice, I have some options below, in order of their sun protection value (raspberry, despite having lower SPF than carrot seed comes first because it takes care of UVA & UVB rays). Please have a look at the cautions at the bottom of this page before rushing out the store to buy oils.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil – SPF 28 – 50
This one is one of the most popular oils for SPF and can have a range of 28 – 50 (depending on the oil’s quality). Red raspberry oil is actually close to equivalent of the protection you would receive from Titanium Dioxide, found in most mineral sunscreens. The essential fatty acids and host of antioxidants in this oil are also great for other skin healing purposes including eczema and psoriasis. Red Raspberry Seed Oil protects against UVA & UVB rays.
Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 38– 40
Carrot oil, which doubles as an antispetic is said to contain a high SPF factor when diluted with a carrier oil.
Wheatgerm Oil – SPF 20
Wheatgerm is packed with vitamins and minerals – namely Vitamin E, K & B – so it also acts as free radical preventer while it protects you from the sun.
Other Oils with SPF 10 or Less
There are a host of other oils with lesser SPF factors, but may be adequate for some more bronzed babes.
- Macadamia Oil – SPF 6
- Non-GMO Soybean Oil – SPF 10
- Avocado Oil – 4 – 10 (can get as high as 15)
- Olive Oil – 2-8
- Shea Butter – 3 – 6
- Almond Oil – SPF 5
- Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4
- Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6
- Jojoba Oil – SPF 4
- Coconut Oil – SPF 2 – 8
Use Caution When Using Natural Oils for Sunscreen
Since not all oils are created equal, the SPF can vary when it is on your skin. Determining the exact SPF factor of an oil is difficult, especially given that natural oils oxidize (lose some of their medicinal properties) over time and when exposed to light. Ensure that you are purchasing your oils from a recommended source and always do your research. Using poor quality oils can end up with really bad sunburn. Optimally with balanced plant-based diet, avoiding chemical products, drinking plenty of water and exposing yourself to sunlight gradually and avoiding direct sunlight in peak hours(10-12am) is all the sun-protection you need.
Another note about UVA & UVB rays: Aside from Red Raspberry Seed Oil,most plant oils protect only against UVB rays.
NUTRITION FOR SUN PROTECTION
Since sunscreen is not a perfect solution to the whole sunburn problem, it would be great if there were another way to get protection from the sun. Believe it or not, components of your diet can have a huge effect on your skin’s ability to naturally protect itself against sunburn.
It shouldn’t be too surprising though. After all, we know that what we eat shows in our skin. By consuming more of certain nutrients and less of others, you can make your skin much more resistant to damage from the sun.
Macronutrients And Sun Protection
For our purposes, macronutrients will be defined as anything that we consume in large amounts that provides energy (calories). I have three general recommendations for consumption of macronutrients to protect your skin.
- Increase your consumption of omega-3 fatty acids, especids. Besides being fantastic for your health in general, the anti-inflammatory omega-3′s also significantly increase the threshold of UV radiation required to cause sunburn. Plant sources for omega-3 are chia, flax, sesami and hemp seeds, cauliflower, brussel sprouts.
- Reduce consumption of omega-6 fatty acids, particularly from vegetable oils. At least in mice, a diet high in omega-6 fats significantly increased the incidence of tumors when exposed to UV radiation. This effect can be negated by consuming more omega-3′s in order to balance out the inflammatory response. Ultimately it is the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 that matters, so consuming a diet high in omega-6 fats will make it harder for your skin to protect itself from sun damage.
- Consume less alcohol, coffee and tobacco, especially if you are going to spend time in the sun the next day. When you drink consume these substances, your body uses up antioxidants to detoxify it. If you then go into the sun soon after, your antioxidant defenses will be lower. In fact, alcohol has been shown to decrease the amount of time until sunburn.
Micronutrients And Sun ProtectionMicronutrients are the vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that you consume in your diet. All of the nutrients in this section are antioxidants that help prevent oxidative damage to your skin from the sun’s rays. Here are the nutrients you should focus on:
- Eat more carotenoids. Carotenoids accumulate in the skin, and have been shown to have a measurable photoprotective benefit directly linked to their concentration in the skin tissue. Supplemental carotenoids help scavenge free radicals and protect the skin from UV damage given a ten week intervention. Carotenoids are responsible for the red, yellow, and orange color of fruits and vegetables, and can also be found in some dark, leafy greens. Good sources include carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apricots and tomatoes. Speaking of tomatoes…
- Eat more lycopene from tomatoes. Technically, lycopene is a carotenoid, but it has enough of its own research to warrant a separate section. Consuming 40 grams of tomato paste per day for ten weeks resulted in a 40% reduction in sunburn. Cooked tomatoes have a higher concentration of lycopene, so things like tomato paste are recommended, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them raw, too.
- Drink green tea. Considering the many health benefits of green tea, you should be drinking it already. But you probably didn’t realize how good it is for your skin. Polyphenols from green tea increased time to sunburn in rats, and drastically reduced tumor incidence, multiplicity, and growth in mice. It also improved overall skin quality.
- Make your desserts dark chocolate. The flavanols in cocoa increased the amount of UV radiation required to burn the skin by 15 and 25% after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment, respectively. The cocoa also reduced skin roughness and scaling, as well as improving a few other measures of skin health. Nice.
- Get more vitamin E and C in your diet. These two vitamins are your body’s primary fat and water soluble antioxidants, and well worth getting in your diet for optimal health. It appears that their antioxidant effects protect your skin along with the rest of your body. When consumed together in large amounts for 50 days, they nearly doubled the amount of UV radiation needed to cause sunburn.
- Eat plant-based whole foods. Avoid processed foods and animal products. Keep your body in alkaline state by avoiding acidifying foods. Plant-based whole foods are the best for healthy and viable skin and overall health.