Summer arrived today, and with it lots and lots of sunshine. There is quite a movement these days to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging potential. Having a dark tan just isn’t in vogue like it was back in the 70s, 80s and 90s. The awareness of skin cancer has increased, and virtually every article about being outdoors includes a warning about protecting yourself from overexposure to the sun. Of course, many argue that sunscreens themselves and the chemicals some contain pose toxicity and cancer-inviting problems. Jeez! Lots of worries out there!

So instead of letting the fear factor take hold, there are ways you can prevent problems – you know, like getting in on the front side of the model! There are nutrients, which can actually protect you from sun damage. Now, it isn’t like you can just eat a whole bunch of a food and then go out in the sun all day and not get burned. Of course, it doesn’t work like that. What I’m taking about here is enriching your body with certain nutrients through your diet and supplementation, which will provide a natural protection from the sun. It’s a lot like alkalizing your body for protection against disease.

The two main nutrients, which help protect your skin from sun damage, are Vitamin C and Vitamin E. They work together as photo protectants to protect your skin cells. And, of course, the best way to get these vitamins into your system is through food you eat. You’re familiar with foods like lemons, limes and oranges being high in Vitamin C, AND so are nectarines, peaches and strawberries – all over the farmer’s markets right now! In addition to these fruits, consume bio-flavonoids like kale, broccoli and sweet peppers, which bring Vitamin C to your cells.

The other nutrient, which works with Vitamin C in a partnership for your skin? Vitamin E! Pumpkin seeds, walnuts, chia seeds are all big sources of Vitamin E. Beta-carotenes are powerful sun protectors. So, make sure your diet is rich in carrots, kale, mustard greens, arugula, winter squash and pumpkin!

And, this discussion isn’t complete without making sure you are eating a diet rich in Omega 3’s. Both plant and animal-based Omega 3’s help keep inflammation in check, another sun damage issue for sure. Our Alka•Omega® http:/www.morter.com/supplements/alka-omega3/ supplement is a great choice as well.

A little sunlight each day can certainly be health enhancing, so please don’t let fear keep you inside or slathered head to toe in zinc oxide everyday. When you are eating a healthy diet like we’ve been talking about, moderate sun exposure – the exposure you get before any burning – is a important source of Vitamin D.

My BEST advice? Eat this sun-damage prevention diet and be mindful! Shade, hats and moderate sun exposure are your friends. If you are going to be out in the sun for longer activities, use a “clean” sunscreen. When you do your homework, you’ll find options out there.