In the world of gardens, I’m a shade plant. I’ve always been that way; the hot summer sun makes me miserable because I don’t handle the heat very well. As true as that was when we lived in the hot and dry climate of northern California, it is especially the case now that we live in the hot and humid climate of the south. Even with all the misery of wilting in the damp heat, that is not the only reason that I’m a shade plant.
My first encounter with skin cancer what when I was 30 years old. My doctor was not too worried about the spot, but to appease me, he took a biopsy and sent it in. That began my long, and continuing relationship with the best dermatologist on the planet. Okay, I may be a bit biased. One of the first things I learned was that the sun was not my friend. That’s when I began a few protective measures such as wearing hats and sunscreen, as well as staying in the shade as often as possible. A vitamin D supplement became part of my regular routine.
Inside and Out
Sunscreen lotion is a great idea in theory. It is not always practical, however, and some are sensitive to ingredients found in typical sunscreen products. So, what to do? It turns out that besides wearing hats and sun-protective clothing – as well as staying in the shade as much as possible, we can also eat our way to a measure of sun protection.
To help remember what foods are beneficial in defense against sun damage, remember during your 4th of July picnic or BBQ, think of Red, White & Blue.
An article found in the American Institute for Cancer Research found that Red foods containing Lycopene, such as tomatoes protect against UV damage. Lycopene is an antioxidant responsible for tomatoes’ red color. It is also found in other red foods such as watermelon.
To find White food that offers protection, Science Daily tells that “Scientists at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University have proven that ingredients in white tea are effective in boosting the immune function of skin cells and protecting them against the damaging effects of the sun.”
Cauliflower is also a member of the white food category that is also a naturally sun-protective food thanks to histidine. This alpha-amino acid stimulates the production of urocanic acid, which absorbs UV radiation. Helping to prevent cancer is found listed in an article in Taste of Home featuring the benefits of cauliflower.
The color Blue is brought to you by an article in The Birdy Blog explaining why blueberries are so, super good for your skin. The writer wishes she could take stock out in blueberries, you will likely agree with her after reading about all the benefits offered by the tiny blue berries.
Foods to avoid
Be advised that in addition to foods that help bolster and protect the skin against sun damage, there are some foods such as celery, figs, and lime as well as medications like antibiotics and antifungals that can cause us to be more sensitive to the sun.
The bottom line is when you go out in the sun this to celebrate the 4th or any time this summer, no matter what you wear, or display, don’t forget to eat your ‘red, white, & blue’
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Has your world been touched by dementia? My recent book, “FinishingWell: Finding Joy in the Journey”, is a collection of stories and tips about doing life with my Mama. May it encourage and inspire you to find joy on your own, unique journey. Find our group on Facebook