What are You Putting in Your Body? Skin is the main component to your overall health. Your skin is in constant communication with your digestive tract. What you put in your body and how you use that knowledge can positively impact your skin.
Let’s say you visit your dermatology every year. You wear sunscreen, big hats, UV protected sunglasses and clothing. You stay in shaded areas while visiting the beach, or while sitting at the pool. You also have never been to a tanning bed, and never plan on it. You would think there’s nothing more you can do to avoid skin cancer, but you are wrong. Eating as healthy as you can is also a key factor. Nonmelanoma skin cancers such as squamous cell and basal cell carcinoma are the most common cancers in America. Recent research has shown that certain dietary changes may be one way to lower your risk.
So, are you putting the right foods in your body?
The key to good skin health can come down to what you put in your stomach. Dietary antioxidants can help prevent DNA damage and cancerous growths that result from UV radiation. The major cause of skin cancer is UV rays from the sun or tanning machines. UV light damages skin cells, which then release oxygen molecules called free radicals. If free radicals damage your DNE, they can alter it, and skin cells may turn cancerous and replicate. The plus side to that is that if you have a large amount of antioxidants in your skin and body can neutralize the free radicals and prevent slow skin cancer growth. Research has shown that people who drink a daily antioxidant rich beverage has 50 percent fewer free radicals in their blood after two weeks than those who didn’t drink them. Growing evidence shows that foods high in certain nutrients can help.
What should you eat?
Make sure there are plenty of dark leafy greens such as broccoli, kale, spinach, beet leaves and collard greens. Fish is another component, but if you aren’t a fish fan you can always take omega-3’s. Herbs also have antioxidants in them. Adding one tablespoon of herbs to your salad or soups can act as a piece of fruit. Green and black tea are filled with antioxidants that inhibit the proteins necessary for skin cancer to develop.
Some of the most effective antioxidants that help prevent skin cancer cells are included here:
Beta-carotene: carrots, squash, mangoes, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes
Lutein: collard greens, spinach, kale
Lycopene: tomatoes, watermelon, guava, apricots
Selenium: Brazil nuts, some meats and breads
Vitamin A: sweet potatoes, milk, egg yolks, mozzarella
Vitamin C: many fruits and berries, cereals, fish
Vitamin E: almonds and other nuts; many oils, including safflower and corn
Making a few small changes may help boost your protection further.
With your SPF, hats, and sun protective clothing, don’t forget your skin protective food!