It’s summertime and with the combination of more sunshine and more time out in it, the sun becomes the best source of vitamin D but also the most readily available source of skin cancer. While there are short term solutions to help you protect your skin from the harsh rays of the sun, there are also long-term solutions to help protect your skin from the inside, out and this week we’re talking about the internal sun protection.
Fact is, we need the sun, but not too much of it. The same thing can also be said for most, if not all, healthy foods. For instance, two glasses of wine per day are good for your heart and can help add ten extra years to your life. Two bottles per day? That will kill your liver. Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest veggies, but ordering the “Potato Palooza Platter” every day will contribute to weight gain, diabetes, and many other unhealthy issues.
Here’s the problem, for food, we can give basic guidelines (two glasses of wine, not bottles). But for skin protection, there are no guidelines that work for every person, of every skin type, in every part of the world. So many variables affect skin cancer risk that any recommendation at all will necessarily fail for most of the people, most of the time.
Given that, what are you supposed to do? If you need a rule, just start with this one: don’t burn your skin. And while the best way to avoid sun burn is to avoid the sun, that’s not always possible. The short term solutions are things you would have to do every time you emerge from your home. These include putting on SPF and covering your skin with protective clothing. These external solutions are applied outside your body.
Longer term solutions are applied inside of your body, and include foods that decrease the likelihood that your skin will burn in the first place. They do this from within the skin itself, becoming, in essence, a more durable, water-resistant, hypoallergenic SPF for your skin. Another great thing about the internal SPF method is that you don’t have to remember to put it on. It’s inside your skin.
Over the next five days, I am going to describe the foods you can eat to provide an internal SPF for your skin. This will be the tastiest sunscreen you have ever applied! The 5 foods and compounds are:
Important to Note: None of the foods described are substitutes for topically applied sunscreens. The protection they provide to your skin is, in all cases, weaker than what can be achieved by SPF. That said, the additional protection is still beneficial, particularly for their ability to repair skin after there has been sun damage.
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