We, women, always want to look fabulous no matter what. That is why we always try different diets (which mostly don’t work) to loose weight, and this is one of the reasons why we want to get suntan as soon as summer has arrived. If we want to feel and look great, and I mean healthy, we have to look for healthy alternatives. We need to learn not only how to protect our skin from sun damage as well as sunscreens full of chemicals/toxins (I talked about it in Part I), but also how to help our body to deal with the damage occurred.
Unfortunately, most of us don’t realize that the ultraviolet rays do significant damage by forming free radicals in the skin cells which can lead to serious health problems – recent research indicates a strong link between free radicals and the risk of disease.
Fortunately, our bodies naturally produce some antioxidant compounds to neutralize free radicals before they can harm biological processes. But we also need a diet rich in antioxidants, because antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, E and D as well as selenium and omega-3 significantly reduce the inflammation and skin damage caused by sun.
Super Foods That Can Save Your Skin from Sun Damage
I. To feel and look fabulous we need to incorporate foods rich in antioxidants into our diets:
- bright-colored fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, squash, broccoli, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, kale, collards, cantaloupe, peaches, apricots, watermelon, berries to get more Vitamin A.
- oranges, lime, kiwi, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, berries, tomatoes to get more vitamin C.
- walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, green leafy vegetables, barley, millet to get more vitamin E.
- Shellfish, oatmeal, barley, buckwheat, eggs, legumes, chicken and garlic to get more Selenium.
- Wild salmon, walnuts, flax seed to get more Omega-3 fatty acids.
II. We also need moderate sunshine -a healthy suntan (before 10:00am and after 5:00pm)-every day because this is the way we get easily vitamin D which is required for the absorption of calcium, necessary for protecting muscle weakness, important for preventing and treatment breast and colon cancer, and osteoporosis, necessary for normal function of thyroid and normal blood clotting. We also can find it in:
- fish liver, dairy products, dandelion greens, oatmeal, salmon, sardines, sweet potatoes, tuna and vegetable oils.
III. We should avoid (as I mentioned in Part I) eating carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips and limes before going to the beach-they might make your skin very sensitive to the sun.
As for me, I always try to obtain antioxidants from whole foods instead of supplements and get a healthy suntan (very early in the morning) instead of using sunscreens full of chemicals to feel and look healthy.
A healthy life style and a healthy diet are the keys to a younger and healthier skin as well as to a younger and healthier you. And remember: there is no such thing as a safe tan or sunscreen. That is why we have to minimize exposure to the sun. Let us be sun smart.
Irina Wardas HHC, Holistic Counselor and Wellness, Lifestyle and Nutrition Coach