Boost your skin's natural sunscreen ability with food

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(NaturalNews) A daily dose of sun exposure does the body good. Sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D and can play a role in the prevention of heart disease, depression, osteoporosis and insomnia. However, experts currently only recommend between 10 to 60 minutes of unprotected sun exposure each day depending on skin color and absorption rate. What can be done to protect the skin for the remainder of the day? Leading dermatologist Dr. Nicholas Perricone recommends daily use of a non-chemical sunscreen and consumption of a diet high in antioxidants to help promote skin health. According to Dr. Perricone, specific foods can be used to increase the skin's ability to protect theitself from the "inside out."

In addition to listing wild salmon, green tea, cocoa, tomatoes and broccoli sprouts as skin-protecting foods, Dr. Perricone has discussed the powerful skin-healing properties of ginger and turmeric. He said, "These delightful spicy roots can be added to salads, stir fries, curries, soups and stews. Ginger prevents the breakdown of elastin in the skin, helping to prevent the wrinkles that result from UV radiation. Turmeric, an antioxidant, anti-aging powerhouse, protects collagen--key in keeping your skin youthful and radiant."

Dr. Perricone was right. A recent study conducted at Chulalongkorn University in Thailand has shown that ginger and turmeric may play a significant role in preventing DNA damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet B (UVB) sun rays. The study, published in Photochemistry and Photobiology, measured the ability of 15 herbal extracts to absorb UVB rays. Extracts from both ginger and turmeric absorbed a significant amount of UVB rays after being applied to skin cells and also stimulated the production of thioredoxin 1, a protein that protects skin cells from damage. Literature published by the University of Maryland also encourages consumption of ginger and turmeric as preventive measures against skin cancer.

Five other foods that boost skin's natural sunscreen ability...

Green Tea: Rich in antioxidants and catechins that protect the skin from UV damage and neutralize free radicals.

Cocoa: High in flavanols which increase blood flow and skin density. Reduces likelihood of sun burn.

Wild Salmon: Contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which helps repair UVB damage. Also rich in Omega-3s that possess anti-inflammatory properties.

Tomatoes: A study conducted in 2001 showed that participants who consumed tomato paste on a daily basis became 40% less likely to experience sun burn.

Watermelon: Rich in lycopene, a phytochemical found in watermelon and other red fruits and vegetables. Helps prevent UV damage.

Sources for this article include:

About the author:
Bri Jackson is a Certified Personal Trainer and author of the Health & Wellness Blog at She is a natural living enthusiast striving to make the natural living transition easier for others.

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