Today is #NationalJunkFood day, but what should you really be putting in your body? Doctor Newman is one of Affiliated Dermatology's resident dermatologists and here are some of his tips on how what you put in your body can affect your overall health. His main goal is preventing skin cancer, and most people are aware that sunblocks and protective clothing are essential in sun-protection. But he says we are forgetting the basics: eating right! Antioxidants protect and rejuvenate your skin. Foods high in antioxidants help fight off free radical damage from the sun's UV radiation, which is well known to cause skin cancers.
"As a dermatologist taking care of patients in the Phoenix valley of Arizona, I focus on preventing skin cancer. Most people are aware that sunblocks and protective clothing are essential in sun-protection, but we often forget the basics: EATING RIGHT. Antioxidants protect and rejuvenate your skin. Foods high in antioxidants help to fight off free radical damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which is well known to cause skin cancers. What do I eat to protect my skin? Although antioxidants can be found in many supplemental products, their natural forms in foods can be more effective. Plus, it’s more fun to cook and eat delicious, wholesome foods! The following antioxidants and their respective foods can be found in many grocery stores nationwide:
- Astaxanthin: A potent carotenoid and powerful antioxidant found in seafood, specifically salmon, shrimp, lobster, and rainbow trout. It is the antioxidant that gives these sea dwellers its red-orange color.
- Niacin: An important energy source found in many of our cells, it is an antioxidant that serves an important function in skin integrity and health. It can be found in foods with tryptophan such as turkey, peanuts, and chicken breast.
- Lutein: A form of carotenoid that is often known for its benefit in preventing diseases of the eye, it is an antioxidant found in many vegetables such as dark, leafy greens (collards, kale, spinach), Brussels sprouts, asparagus, broccoli, peas, and zucchini.
- Beta-carotene: One of the most well known antioxidants and carotenoids, giving off it’s orange colored hue, it is commonly found in carrots, mangoes, papaya, sweet potatoes (yams), and squash. Beta-carotene is also the precursor to Vitamin A, an antioxidant and vitamin aiding in immune support.
- Lycopene: Another popular carotenoid that provides a reddish color to different foods, it is found most notably in tomatoes, but is naturally occurring in watermelon, grapefruit, guava, red cabbage, and apricots too.
- Selenium: A very beneficial trace mineral with its main purposes in thyroid health and free radical scavenging, it can help reduce carcinogens and aid in heavy metal detoxification. Selenium is most commonly found in nuts, most highly in Brazil nuts, but is also in many grains and animal proteins as well.
- Vitamin E: A fat-soluble vitamin with its main benefits as an antioxidant, it is mainly found in seeds and nuts such as almonds, cashews, and hazelnuts.
- Vitamin C: A popular vitamin and antioxidant that works complimentary with other antioxidants, especially Vitamin E. It is important in skin health with added benefits of iron absorption and hormone synthesis. Vitamin C can be found in foods such as strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwi, oranges/clementine, parsley, and pineapple."
A happy body means happy skin! Make sure you are fueling your body right this summer.