Many of us welcome the summer with sun overexposure or a wicked sunburn. The sun is a beautiful thing, responsible for giving us Vitamin D and generally improving our moods. But for many of us, too much of this good thing can be bad. Sunburns aren’t only painful, they can lead to premature aging and even cancer. While mainstream sources push the sunblock, advocating a good slathering every single day on every portion of exposed skin, they neglect to tell you that you can actually prevent sunburn with natural food sources.
According to Skincancer.org, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Every single year, there are more new cases of skin cancer than of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers combined. Mainstream medicine would have you think chemical-filled lotions and avoiding the sun altogether are your only options – but this is far from true.
You can prevent sunburn and skin cancer with the following foods:
Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Known as “essential” fats because the body doesn’t produce them and they must be obtained through the diet, omega-3 fats are lauded for doing everything from protecting the brain to preventing inflammation. In addition to these great benefits, omega-3s can actually reduce sunburn sensitivity and help to prevent sunburn, according to a study from the Oxford Journals’ Carcinogenesis.
Fatty fish like salmon and sardines are good sources of omega-3 fats, as are walnuts and flax seeds. If getting enough of these foods is a concern, you can supplement with a high quality fish oil supplement.
Another superfood, green tea is credited with numerous health benefits. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, sunburn protection can be added to the list. The polyphenols contained in green tea are powerful antioxidants, protecting the body from damage by free radicals. But they also protect the cells against DNA damage from UV radiation. Drinking two cups of green tea each day is enough to reap the benefits.
Prevent Sunburn with Broccoli and Other Veggies from the Brassica Family
Vegetables that belong to the Brassica family, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, mustard greens and spinach, are all rich in the cancer fighting chemical called sulforaphane glucosinolate. This discovery was made in 1992 by Paul Talalay and the Laboratory for Molecular Pharmacology at Johns Hopkins University. The discovery was so monumental that it was listed as one of the top 100 scientific discoveries of the 20th century and also appeared on the front page of the New York Times. Even better, broccoli sprouts reportedly contain “20 to 50 times the amount of chemoprotective compounds found in mature broccoli heads.”
This means eating a diet rich in these green vegetables can actually reduce your chances of cancer, not to mention providing all sorts of other crucial nutritional benefits. Steam them, throw them on a salad, or blend them into a smoothie to receive all of the benefits.
Don’t abstain from sun exposure altogether for fear of cancer. If you want to prevent cancer naturally, take steps to prevent overexposure and consume foods that can offer natural protection against any potential damage. Avoid using sunscreen as well, as research has repeatedly shown that sunscreen causes cancer. Sit back, and bask in the benefits of our closest star year-round.
This article originally appeared at NaturalSociety.com, an excellent source of news and information about alternative health and wellness.
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