Rupina Meer’s “10 ways to eat your sunscreen”

A deep, even suntan is tempting. But some of us are concerned about too much sun. Rightly so. Studies have shown that too much of it can have long-lasting and damaging effects. After all, we want our skin to look good for as long as possible.

Sun exposure, in limited doses, is good for us. Length of exposure and time of day make a difference. This is how our body manufactures Vitamin D. But slather on a bunch of SPF 50 sunscreen and your skin doesn’t get the exposure to the sunrays that can be beneficial.

Rupina Meer, Certified Holistic Coach, has come up with a very helpful diet when it comes to fighting sun damage from the inside. Here are some great tips:

  • Eat a lot of greens. Surprised? Try the leafy greens such as leeks, artichokes, broccoli, kale and spinach.
  • Try some lycopene. According to Ms. Meer, studies have shown that healthy women, aged 21 – 47, who at 55 grams of tomato paste containing 16 mg of lycopene every day for 12 weeks experienced heightened protection from sun damage.
  • Eat dark chocolate or raw cacao. Avoid milk chocolate.
  • Drink tea: black, white and green teas all contain polyphenols that help ward off UV rays.
  • Eat or take lots of omega 3 fatty acids. Try salmon, mackerel, sardines, algae or seaweed or flax, hemp or chia seeds.
  • Eat more saturated fat. What? We’ve been told to avoid this stuff, repeatedly. However, there are healthy sources of saturated fat, especially that from coconut oil.
  • Take astaxanthin. It just might be the most powerful antioxidant ever studied.
  • Drink pomegranate. It tastes great and can enhance skin’s sun-protective properties by 25%, according to L.A. dermatologist Howard Murad.
  • Add reserveratrol to your diet. It is becoming more popular as a photoprotective agent.

Avoid sugars and processed foods. This might sound like nothing new, but it’s worth repeating and now you have one more reason to avoid them.

Summertime is a great time to fill your body with colorful foods including countless numbers of fruits and vegetables. If you aren’t finding anything fresh or tantalizing enough at the grocery store, step outside the usual routine and try a local farmers’ market. I’ll bet those places are loaded with great fresh fruits and vegetables that will make your mouth water.

But don’t wait too long, the season is at its peak. Go now.

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