Independence Day is paramount with summer. When I think of the 4th of July, I think of fireworks, picnic food, fireflies, and sunburn. Since we are in the dog days of summer, I thought is would be appropriate to talk briefly about how you can prevent sunburn, giving you a different perspective…a “food” perspective.
Huh?…you say? I know…I know…most of us think of suntan lotion (30 SPF and above), avoiding the sun between 10:00 am and 3 pm on a sunny day, covering up while in the sun, and of course…staying hydrated. You want enough sun exposure to help your body convert cholesterol to Vitamin D3, but not too much so as to prevent sun damage. And if you slather your skin with suntan lotion, not only are you exposing your body to toxins, but you will not absorb enough sunshine in order to convert to Vitamin D3. Now, don’t get me wrong…all of this is good, and I recommend these some of these.
But what if I were to tell you that there is something you can eat and consume that will help prevent sunburn! How about sunscreen in a pill? Yep! It’s true!
And what if I told you that this incredible food, and can also be found as a supplement can also help with prevention of wrinkles, age spots, freckles and dry skin, as well as reverse the visible signs of aging. Now I have your attention!
Astaxanthin for Sun Protection
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant and omega 3 that is found in wild caught salmon, krill, shrimp, and flamingos! Flamingos?! Yes! Any animal that is bright pink in color, contains astaxanthin. It isthe carotenoid family that is what gives salmon it’s red-orange color. Research has shown that astaxanthin can reduce oxidative stress, inflammation and enhance the immune system! It is known to heal damaged skin and also increase skin resiliency. Studies show that with regular astaxanthin use, sunburn typically happens less quickly and less intensely, when exposed to the damaging rays of the sun. Mind you, note the words “with regular use”. Just remembering to eat salmon, or take astaxanthin in supplement form right before your beach trip, won’t cut it. It must be regular use.
Dr. Axe notes that astaxanthin is 550 times stronger than vitamin E, 800 times more powerful than CoQ10 and 6000 times more potent than vitamin C. It was even found to be more than 500 times more powerful than catechins found in green tea!
Here are some of the benefits as given by Dr. Axe:
- Reduce wrinkles and age spots
- Improve vision
- Support joint health
- Reduce sings of aging
- Improve endurance and exercise recovery
- Reduce risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- Improve focus and ADHD
- Helpful for eye tissue, supporting macular degeneration
Protect Your Skin from Sun Damage by Eating Your Vegetables
Dr. Mercola mentions that one of the many benefits on consuming large amounts of fresh vegetables daily is protection from sun damage. Vegetables are the key component in a diet high in antioxidants, and play a major role in helping you avoid sunburn. The more antioxidants in your skin, the less your risk of getting burned by the sun. Although it is unknown exactly how vegetables and fruits protect your skin from sun damage, specialists say that it is most likely related to the antioxidants’ anti-inflammatory properties that fight the inflammatory process the sun has upon the skin.
Astaxanthin also comes in supplement form*, although I highly recommend getting what your body needs from food.
So eat up! Indulge in hearty portions of 3-5 servings of salmon, shrimp and anchovies weekly, and 8-10 servings of fruit and vegetables a day for good health! Just stay away from flamingos, unless you are visiting the Zoo!
* Here is my affiliate link to favorite brands of astaxanthin. I prefer VIVA and NOW brands. https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=astaxanthin&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aastaxanthin
The School of Applied Function Medicine – Sunburn, Salmon, and Skin Healing