What you need to know to get ready for summer…naturally!
Summer is just around the corner. We are all looking forward to the sunshine and sun-tanning. But it is easy to forget about the harmful effects of the sun. The same rays that tan us also age our skin, including wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. There is also the increased risk of skin cancer.
Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among Canadians. With our thinning ozone layer that normally protects us from this UV radiation, the incidence of skin cancer is rising dramatically! So, we all really should think about protecting ourselves now, to prevent the damage from happening.
When we burn, we damage our skin. Our skin cells (melanocytes) produce melanin to protect our cells from sun damage. This is what a tan is, the melanin is the tan. So the less melanocytes you have (the more fair your skin is), the higher your risk of sun damage, and therefore skin aging and skin cancer.
The good news is that there are ways to reverse this premature aging and reduce your risk of sun damage. Here are some simple, scientifically proven, natural ways to do this:
It’s all about the antioxidants!! These antioxidants protect our cells from sun damage and can reverse the damage that is done. Both taken internally and applied topically:
*The information provided is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Please consult with your doctor or naturopathic doctor before starting any new supplement program as they may have interactions with certain medications. *
The top 5 nutrients to add daily:
- Grapeseed Extract: from grape seeds! 50X stronger than many other antioxidants osage: 150mg 1-2x/day
- Resveratrol: found in the skin of red grapes, red wine and peanuts. Dosage: 200mg/day
- Vitamin E: found in avocados, almonds and sunflower seeds. As a supplement use mixed tocopherols. Dosage: 400 IU/ day
- Vitamin C: found in tomatoes, red/green peppers, melons, citrus fruits, broccoli Dosage: use buffered vitamin C without sugar: 1000 mg/day
- Green tea. At least 2 cups per day… Studies clearly show that the polyphenols in green tea help to prevent skin tumors and skin damage.
I personally recommend Nasobih Ultra Caps, 1-2 capsules per day. It contains all of the above listed ingredients plus more! I use Nasobih as a night cream, day cream and the take the capsules daily. I am very impressed with the results. For more information please visit www.nasobih.com.
The top 6 foods to eat:
- Broccoli sprouts. An amazing study out of John Hopkins University just came out. They fed mice broccoli sprouts twice a week for 17 weeks and saw a 70% reduction in the formation of skin tumors. So add broccoli sprouts to your diet! Sprinkle ½ cup daily on your salad or in a sandwich.
- Beta – carotene found in leafy greens and bright vegetables. Research shows that eating 5 servings of foods that contain Beta-carotene for 1 month is enough to protect your skin from sun damage.
Foods high in beta-carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangoes, dark green leafy vegetables (kale, collard greens, spinach, leaf lettuce) and broccoli. Beta-carotene becomes most available to the body when vegetables are cooked, chopped or pureed.
- Tumeric has excellent antioxidant properties. Use in cooking. Great in Indian dishes!
- Dark chocolate. Choose chocolate with greater than 70% cocoa. Enjoy 2 squares/ day.
- Lycopenes found in tomatoes and watermelons are excellent skin protectors.
- Fish oil. These Omega 3 oils have strong anti-inflammatory properties and are great for skin appearance. Have 2 serving a week of wild salmon, snapper, cod, mackerel and sardines. Avoid larger fish such as tuna and halibut due to concerns with mercury levels.
Okay, now that we have protected our skin and reversed the signs of aging, its time to get into that bathing suit!!
Here are 6 easy ways to look good naked!!!
- The #1 way to lose weight…. no more soft drinks. For 1 month stop drinking the soft drinks and anything with high fructose corn syrup. Even the diet soft drinks.
- No more white products. Choose everything whole grain including brown rice, whole wheat bread. If it’s white, don’t eat it!
- ½ your plate should be vegetables. The more colors, the better!!!
- 8 glasses of water / day
- Minimum 30 min of exercise / day.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep. Studies clearly show that anything less than 7 hours will increase your risk of gaining weight, and the risk gets higher with each hour of sleep you lose.
Dr Tasreen Alibhai, ND