I’ve never been a fan of sunscreen. Too many chemicals and too much conflicting information about whether sunscreen actually does what it is supposed to. In my opinion, if you want to lower your sun exposure, wear a hat and t-shirt. But don’t cut the sun out completely, because moderate amounts of sun allows your body to produce vitamin D which some scientist have hypothesized may help protect against certain cancers.
What about our diet? Can the food we eat help to protect us against skin cancer? Actually, our diet can be a very important factor in helping to prevent many types of cancer.
Studies continue to show that certain foods can play a protective role in preventing skin cancer, and here’s how it works. Damage to our skin occurs when we have prolonged exposure to UVB and UVA rays of the sun (many sunscreens don’t protect against UVA rays). This damage can open the door for gene mutations and ultimately cancer. One of the most effective ways our body has of minimizing this damage is through the presence of antioxidants, which can help prevent the damage from occurring.
Antioxidants come from the foods we eat and are most highly concentrated in fruits and vegetables. Certain antioxidants are known to be especially good at helping protect us from sun damage that can lead to wrinkles and skin cancer. Combining these great foods with smart sun practices, like avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day, and covering up to avoid overexposure can result in healthier skin. That’s a win-win if you ask me. See my tip below for the best foods to consume to help protect your skin this summer!
Top foods that help protect your skin
The studies noted below have indicated that these foods can help protect your skin.
Citrus Fruits (especially the rind) – Vitamin C and perillyl alcohol can help prevent damage to the skin from UV rays.
Red Grapes and Pomegranate – Resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant can help to protect skin against damaging UV rays.
Tomatoes and Watermelon – Lycopene an antioxidant with protective UV blocking qualities can help prevent skin damage.
Apples and Onions – Contain Quercetin which can help to inhibit skin cancer growth.
Turmeric spice – Abundant in Curcumin which can help to inhibit skin cancer formation and growth.
Note that these studies are not necessarily definitive and my tips should help optimize our diet only and are not meant to help treat any health problems. Consult a doctor if you see anything concerning on your skin that you suspect could be cancerous