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How Your Diet Can Help “Shade” You from the Sun

Learn more about ways you can naturally protect your skin from the sun's damaging rays.

How Your Diet Can Help “Shade” You from the Sun

These days, there is quite a movement to protect your skin from the sun’s damaging potential. Skin cancer awareness has certainly increased, and virtually every article about the 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, as well. So many worries out there!

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

The two primary 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 the food you eat. You’re familiar with foods like lemons, limes, and oranges high in Vitamin C, and so are nectarines, peaches, and strawberries – all over the farmer’s markets in the sunny late spring and summer months! In addition to these fruits, consume bioflavonoids like kale, broccoli, and sweet peppers, which also bring Vitamin C to your cells.

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

And this discussion isn’t complete without ensuring you eat 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® 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 slather head-to-toe in zinc oxide every single day. When eating a healthy diet like we’ve been talking about, moderate sun exposure – the exposure you get before any burning – is an important source of Vitamin D. So, eat this sun-damage prevention diet and be mindful! Shades, hats, and moderate sun exposure are your friends. If you will be out in the sun for more prolonged activities, use a “clean” sunscreen. When you do your homework, you’ll find many options out there.