Nutrition for Skin Protection
by Cindy Collins, PhD, RD
In South Florida we get plenty of sun exposure. Most people cover up with sunscreen, put on a hat, sunglasses and set out to endure the elements. Nutrition is a complementary method to foster protection from the sun. It is a wonderful way to provide internal defense against free radicals formed from the UV exposure from the sun.
While there is no substitution for the use of sunscreen, it is important to remember the foods you eat will give you added defense against free radical formation. Vitamin A, C, E and selenium are superb ways to promote healthy cellular function which will provide protection from the sun from the inside, out. Other phytochemicals such are limonene, zeaxanthin and lutein offer protection against cellular free radicals.
Some foods may naturally carry more than one of the vitamins and minerals that protect you from the sun! This is an extraordinary way to get in those good vitamins and minerals in one sitting! Here are some examples:
limonene, zeaxanthin, lutein
Fruit: mango, papaya, citrus fruits (peel), dried apricot
Vegetables: tomatoes, spinach, red peppers, carrots, collards, turnips, beets, sweet potato, butternut squash, spring mix, V8 (low sodium)
Spices: Paprika, cayenne, red pepper, chili powder
Meat: liver, turkey
Nuts: brazil nuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds
Grain: bran, quinoa
Meat: fish (salmon, snapper), caviar
To read more about nutrition and its prevention of cancer refer to: