Healthy eating prevents sunburn


According to Weigh-Less, experts have proved that simply by eating healthy foods, which are high in vitamin D, you are ensured long-term protection against sunburn and skin cancer. Sun Smart Awareness Month creates awareness of the dangers of excessive sun exposure and educates people as to how to prevent skin diseases. Education is necessary as skin cancer rates have doubled in the last few decades and this is due to the increased use of Omega-6 vegetable oils, higher consumption of processed foods and more chemical additives in foods.

Eat berries and dark chocolate

It is known that unhealthy food has a negative effect on skin and overall health; therefore a healthy diet can offer protection from various nutritional diseases, including sun-related ones. To make sure your body has the proper building blocks for healthy skin and to reduce inflammation, make sure to get enough healthy saturated, monounsaturated and Omega-3 fats, and lean towards real food “treats” like berries and dark chocolate, which are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and research has shown a strong protective effect of antioxidants against sunburn and skin damage.

Heidi Lobel, resident dietician with Weigh-Less promotes eating vitamin D enriched foods for healthy glowing skin. She said: “Although it may not be possible to eat your way to a golden tan, there are some foods that may offer some degree of protection against nasty sunburn. It turns out that foods rich in antioxidants have the ability not only to repair cell damage caused by ultraviolet radiation, but can also prevent cell damage. Foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E and beta-carotene offer the best protection. Spinach, sunflower seeds, oranges, carrots, butternut and tomatoes are just some of the delicious foods that can help fortify your skin with resistance to harmful UV rays.”

Tomatoes for healthy skin

Experts urge people to eat tomatoes for healthy skin, as they contain high levels of lycopene. Volunteers in one study who consumed five tablespoons of tomato paste daily for three months had 25 percent more protection against sunburn. Even better, skin had more collagen, which prevents sagging. German scientists also report that higher skin levels of this antioxidant correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows.

Instead of investing in pricey sunscreen creams, skin specialists encourage people to avoid Omega-6 oils, which include foods like canola, cottonseed, vegetable and soybean. There is evidence that when these oils are consumed, they are used as fats for skin formation and actually lead directly to skin cancer. In fact, some studies have shown that vegetable oils increase cancer cells and lower the body’s ability to fight cancer.

Increase exposure gradually

While the sun is very beneficial because it helps our bodies produce vitamin D, sunburn is certainly not beneficial. The easiest way to avoid sunburn naturally is to increase sun exposure gradually, while eating a healthy diet. As your body needs vitamin D and there is no conclusive evidence that sunscreen protects against skin cancer, it is best to avoid using sunscreen, especially the chemically laden varieties.

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