Eat Sunscreen for Glowing Skin and Health
No, I haven’t got sunstroke and hallucinations! I’m not suggesting that you squeeze that toxic gunk out of the bottle and actually eat it. I am talking about protecting and conditioning your skin from the inside out with the right nutrition. You can eat your own healthy version of natural sunscreen by following these recommendations.
It’s a fact that people who regularly eat ‘healthy’ fats: a mix of mainly monounsaturated, Omega 3 and some saturated fats, have much smoother, softer skin. In contrast, a diet high in polyunsaturated or trans fats and processed foods and vegetable oils promote free radicals, oxidation and inflammation resulting in aged, withered and wrinkled skin.
Omega-3 rich foods are particularly effective skin conditioners. Research shows how omega 3 fats helps prolong the time that it takes skin to get burned during sun exposure, and reduces the chance of skin cancer. Omega-3 fatty acids best sources come from grass fed beef, free range whole eggs, and cold-water wild caught fish such as that found in our Omega 3 range
For a healthy ‘sun-kissed glow’, eat Carotenoids.
Carotenoids are colorful molecules like beta carotene, astaxanthin and lycopene that block UV rays. When humans ingest carotenoids, they are actually deposited into the skin to prevent sunburn and oxidative stress.
A recent study led by Dr. Ian Stephen at The University of Nottingham, suggests that eating your fruit and veggies is more likely to give you a golden glow than sunbathing! He says: "Most people think the best way to improve skin color is to get a suntan, but our research shows that eating lots of fruit and vegetables is actually more effective."
The best sources of carotenoids are whole eggs, spirulina, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, spinach, etc), and brightly colored yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (apricots, cantaloupe, sweet red peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).
Carotenoid and Flavanol-rich fruit like berries, mangoes, kiwis, peaches, cherries, and plums are also rich in vitamin C which is an added bonus.
Perhaps one of the most potent carotenoids is astaxanthin: a red pigment found in algae, salmon, trout, shrimp, lobsters, and other shellfish. Astaxanthin is 1,000 times more effective at protecting skin from UV damage than other carotenoids.
A key reason for this is because unlike most other nutrients, astaxanthin crosses the blood brain barrier providing an overall anti-inflammatory effect, and especially for the eyes and brain. This is one of the reason why we use it in our Premium and Ultra versions of our Omega 3 Fish oils.
Another very potent carotenoid is Lycopene: an antioxidant and sunscreen in one and another ingredient that we have used for years.
Lycopene is found in red fruits such as tomatoes, red bell pepper and watermelon. Unlike many other fruits and vegetables, cooking actually increases this nutrient. Tomato paste has much more lycopene than fresh tomatoes. In one study, people who consumed tomato paste had 33% more protection against sunburn compared to a control group after 12 weeks.
However, to get any appreciable health and skin benefit of lycopene you need to eat at least 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of tomato paste a day. An easier way may be to use a lycopene in the form of a supplement such as found in our Omega 3 range.
In fact our Premium and Ultra Omega 3 supplements synergistically combine the benefits of Omega 3, lycopene and Astaxanthin.
Drink plenty of green tea daily for internal sun protection. Green tea is known to contain a category of antioxidants called polyphenols (especially epigallocatechin-3-gallate - EGCG - ) which boost the ability of skin to protect itself from the sun. If the idea of drinking warm green tea on a hot day is unappetizing, go for cool glass of iced green tea!
Keep in mind that ALL teas are rich sources of various skin-protecting antioxidants. So consider rooibos, tulsi tea, mint, chamomile, and others. The more variety, the greater the diversity of antioxidants.
Other excellent sources of polyphenols are apples, pears, grapes, berries and parsley. Parsley is also a concentrated source of vitamin A which nourishes and protects your skin. Together with the antioxidant effect of the polyphenols, it naturally helps prevent skin damage and excessive burning from sun exposure.
I’ve left the best for last!
Decadent dark cacao rich (70% +) organic chocolate is an excellent source of bone-healthy polyphenols, even though it is acidifying. Studies confirm that it not only protects your skin from the sun, it also beautifies it.
No to CLO
I know that many people take Cod liver oil (CLO) thinking that it is a good source of Vit D and Omega 3.
Actually this is not true. CLO isn't a good source of Omega 3 DHA. Not only is it low in natural DHA, but the extract comes from the liver, so often contains many toxins, and potentially excess vitamin A.
For health benefits you are better looking at a soft gel form of an omega 3 fish oil that is not taken from the liver or any organs, but is taken from the flesh and skeleton of the fish. This reduces risk of toxins and avoids excessive vitamin A.
As mentioned above, our Premium and Ultra Omega 3 oils are preferable to CLO because they one of the purest and highest quality fish oils available, and synergistically combine the benefits of Omega 3, lycopene and Astaxanthin.
As you can see, eating your suncreen for glowing skin and health can actually be enjoyable too! Mother Nature’s own sunblock is surely preferable to toxic laden sunscreens.
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