The sun isn’t your enemy. It’s your diet.
In the summer months, every store feature sunblocks, sprays and potions promising sun protection qualities and I confess, I never wear any of them! Why? Because I eat my SPF and I don’t burn.
Ever since we started wearing sunblock with the idea of protecting ourselves against harmful rays from the sun, cancer rates have skyrocketed. Today we can expect 1 in 2 to have cancer by the year 2020. That means that 1 in 2 children born today will get cancer.
In stark contrast, skin cancer rates are not dropping, although you might expect they would since we introduced the idea of slathering ourselves with sunblock. That means something isn’t working.
We get some insight from the revealing studies of Dr. Weston A. Price who visited isolated traditional societies to learn the reasons for dental caries. He found that in these cultures, among other things, there was no need for sunblock. Peoples in these isolated areas never got sunburned or got cancer. They were also rarely sick, had no dental issues and were hardy in all climates.
What could the reason be for this apparently natural protection from the sun? The answer: DIET. Throughout his travels, Dr. Price found that “isolated primitive peoples ate a diet four times higher in calcium and other minerals and ten times higher in fat-soluble vitamins from such foods as butter, fish, eggs, shellfish and organ meats.” – Weston A Price
A poor diet, low in nutrient rich foods has a negative effect on skin and health, so it makes sense then, that an Eat Clean® diet, rich in whole foods, can offer protection from various health problems, including building your own sun protection factor. Eating Clean® means to eat whole, nutrient dense, well-sourced, properly prepared, minimally processed foods.
When whole foods are eaten we receive the full array of micronutrients, macronutrients, enzymes, essential fatty acids, omega-3 fatty acids, minerals and more, each of which work to create healthy skin. When you follow an Eat Clean® lifestyle, not only are you boosting your own SPF but you are building a healthier version of the trillions of cells in your body.
Eat Foods High in Minerals
Minerals provide an abundance of health benefits, including SPF. As Dr. Price found, diets rich in calcium and other minerals seemed to provide some protection from the sun.
It seems then, that rather than slathering yourself with zinc oxide cream and other sun block concoctions, it is better to consume mineral rich foods. To enhance the SPF of the minerals found in our diet, we must also provide the correct absorption cofactors which include systemic pH, hormonal hydration, other minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and digestion. Most of us, for example, get plenty of calcium but few of us have enough of the other cofactors present
FOODS HIGH IN MINERALS: yogurt, kefir, dark leafy greens, legumes, whole grains properly prepared, figs
Eat Foods High in Antioxidants
Much of the Standard North American diet is dangerously skewed towards refined sugars and grains. Such nutrient devoid foods initiate an inflammatory response.
Antioxidant rich foods provide powerful protection against the sun. Antioxidants are the molecules capable of reducing inflammation and free radicals, the cause of many diseases. Research shows a strong protective effect of antioxidants against inflammation and skin damage.
Astaxanthin is particularly effective in protecting against sun damage. This antioxidant is found in salmon, shrimp, and krill, as well as a green algae called Haematococcus pluvialis . Lutein, beta-carotene and canthaxanthin also offer powerful antioxidant properties which protect against natural stressors including the sun.
ANTIOXIDANT RICH FOODS: green tea, blackberries, wild blueberries, cherries, kale, spinach, broccoli, beets
Increase Vitamin D Intake
Optimal Vitamin D levels should be about 65 ng/mL. Many doctors recommend taking upwards of 5,000 IU of Vitamin D daily, for optimal health. It is best to get both sun exposure and an additional supplement to get your D levels high enough. Together these will provide a strong sun protection factor while also boosting health overall.
FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN D: No food is particularly high enough in Vitamin D. A supplement is recommended. However whole eggs, fatty fish like tuna, mackerel and salmon, beef liver and fortified cereals are reasonably good sources.
I have Western European skin, hazel eyes and blonde hair. With that kind of background I ought to burn, if I don’t wear sunblock. But I do not. I practice the Eat Clean® lifestyle, exercise and take care of my emotional health. My skin says thank you. In a pinch, you can use slices of avocado applied directly to your skin to give you SPF and a beautiful glow. These bumpy green fruits contain poly- and monounsaturated fatty acids which protect the skin and guard against sun damage. I love the feeling of mashing the creamy fruit into my skin and the resulting healthy glow.
Now you know! Eat your glow!
I love what I do and I love you!
PS. Which of these tricks will you try? I’d love to see a picture of you with some avocado SPF in action. Post in the COMMENTS below.
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