In need of some sun, but hoping to protect against skin cancer & other solar damage? If you are like most vitamin-D deprived Oregonians, getting outside for our few months of summer is a priority. Vitamin D is necessary for maintaining healthy bone structure, immune system function, heart health, pregnancy, & may help to prevent cancer & certain autoimmune disorders.
Just 15 minutes of sun-to-skin exposure is enough to initiate vitamin D synthesis, but most outdoor activities last longer, putting us at risk for burns. In addition to summer hats, sun protective clothing & your SPF of choice, there are numerous antioxidant-rich foods that may help with cancer prevention, skin healing & regeneration. Give your body the tools to protect itself from the inside!
Prioritize foods containing high amounts of the antioxidants vitamin C, E, A & zinc. The bioflavinoids apigenin & quercetin are also essential. Make sure your summer diet is rich in the following:
Fruit, Fruit, & Fruit
Freshly picked fruits are bioflavinoid powerhouses. Make sure to go organic, or better yet, grow your own.
Broccoli, Celery & Veggies Galore
Especially good sources for apigenin & quercetin, as well as vitamins, minerals & healthy fiber to support balanced cholesterol & detoxification.
Various studies suggest the powerful polyphenol EGCG may prevent skin & other tumors. Drink up, hot or iced.
Bring on the Curry!
Turmeric root contains curcumin, the potent antioxidant that has made it so popular for treating inflammation and preventing cancer. Curcumin is best absorbed with a bit of oil, so make sure to add it into dishes with heart healthy olive oil or coconut oil.
Orange & Yellow (even green)
Foods rich in beta-carotene provide the body with all it needs to make vitamin A for skin protection & healing. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin & squash to your summer recipes. Their beautiful color is proof of their copious nutrients, but don’t be fooled, green kale also provides an impressive amount of beta-carotene!
Dr. Kaley Bourgeois