Natural way to boost your body’s ability to protect against sun damage

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sun-damage(NaturalHealth365)  Each year, over 5 million people are treated for skin cancer, a health concern easy enough to prevent with minimal intervention.  While there are safe vitamin-D synthesizing periods to spend in the sun, safe sun protection is a must.  So, let’s get to some ‘tasty’ ways to avoid sun damage.

Surprisingly to many, you can eat your way to photo-protection by consuming camu camu berries (or powder), and microalgae like spirulina.  These are just a couple of the many superfoods that offer photo-protective benefits for your skin.

Ditch the toxic sunscreen … Do THIS instead

We know that the benefits of vitamin C are far-reaching – above and below the skin.  Research at the Linus Pauling Institute of Oregon State University suggests that concentrations of vitamin C present in the dermis and epidermis may help prevent UV-induced photo-damage.

While topical applications can boost C levels in the skin, the stratum corneum – the outermost layer of the epidermis – is a primary obstacle to absorption.  However, researchers observed that vitamin C preparations with low pH levels around 4, such as the uncharged form of C – ascorbic acid – are more bioavailable and will be absorbed into the epidermal layer.

While vitamin C confers skin protection, the benefits are not direct.  The skin health benefits of vitamin C are attributed to its antioxidant properties protecting against UV-induced, free-radical damage. Promising research found that vitamin C – when combined orally with vitamin E – may mutually enhance each other’s skin-protective properties.

The best way to consume ‘internal sun protection’

Superfoods rich in antioxidants help protect us against the sun’s harmful UV rays.  If getting enough of your fruits and veggies seems difficult, you can opt for convenient juicing.  Here are some of our favorite superfoods, veggies, and fruits to protect yourself from the potential threats of sun exposure:

  • Camu camu berry: Boasting 50 times more vitamin C than oranges – get this berry in its superfood powder form to maximize its use.
  • Microalgae such as spirulina and blue-green algae containing astaxanthin
  • Don’t forget: Add some carrots, dark berries, avocados, cacao, and cinnamon to your juices and foods to boost antioxidant activity even higher.

A word of caution about toxic sunscreens on your skin

By now, you’ve entered the somewhat bewildering discussion on nanoparticle safety.  Because nanoparticles vary significantly by shape, size, and even coating, their properties make it difficult for consumers to know which ones are safe.

Misleading labeling has many consumers confused about which sunscreens are safe for their families and which may actually cause sun damage to the skin.  The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens labels titanium dioxide as a potential carcinogen and cites that when either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide are inhaled, they elicit direct harm to lung tissue.

Here are some safe sunscreen guidelines:

1. Look for uncoated zinc-oxide or uncoated, non-nano zinc oxide.
2. Be sure that the sunscreen you purchase contains ingredients that will not be harmful if absorbed into the skin.
3. Limit yourself to 20 minutes of direct sunlight daily without using topical sunscreen.

Bottom line, don’t put yourself or the environment at risk by using sunscreens that contain harmful chemicals.  Before slathering your family in sunscreen this summer, consider how you can up their protection by adding powerful sun-protecting superfoods to your regular diet.

It will be worth the effort.

Sources for this article include:

Oregonstate.edu
CDC.gov
NIH.gov
NIH.gov

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