Protect Your Skin With Food This Summer
This post was submitted by fitness contributor Kevin Rail, co-owner of My Inferno Body.
Protect Your Skin With Food This Summer
Before we even get started, let’s clarify something. With the exception of banana peels, I don’t mean to literally rub food all over your body to protect yourself from the sun. I’m talking about using specific foods to protect yourself from the sun from the inside out.
Oh, perhaps you didn’t realize that there is a bigtime biohack and trade secret involved with skin preservation that involves the food you eat. Let’s rewind the tape a bit with a quick physiology lesson.
Here’s the deal, yo. Every cell in your body recycles itself. And what’s even more interesting is, different cells recycle at different rates. The cells in your gut, for example, recycle every few days. The cells that compose your bones and stored fat recycle about every 10 years. And, the cells that make up your skin recycle every few weeks.
Did you know that the food you eat is what these cells are made of? Well, you do now! If you just stop right there and think about that for a split second, it makes all the sense in the world to clean up your diet and keep it that way for life.
Now, what if I were to tell you that you can eat a specific way to not only protect your skin from the “dreaded sun,” but also to create a very beautiful suntan at the same time? You might call me crazy, but I’m not. And believe me, I’ve been called a lot worse.
There is healthy eating and then there is functional eating. Having a diet high in whole, natural foods, not eating late at night and avoiding bullshit ingredients that are genetically modified, laden with artificial sweeteners, colors and flavors and preservatives would be an example of healthy eating.
Functional eating would be going one step further. This means you are eating with a specific goal in mind. You choose foods that help you obtain that goal, and they are often referred to as “functional.”
When you eat food, the best-case scenario is that you digest it well. If you don’t, then you need to get one of our programs, such as the 30-day Meltdown because they all come with a fasting guideline and dietary diversity protocol.
These strategies help improve gut health. And when your gut is strong and you’re able to digest properly, everything else falls right into place.
As for the skin, it reacts well to specific foods and it does not react well to others. Obviously, the things you want to avoid are late-night eating binges, foods that are highly processed, foods that are high in simple sugars and saturated fat, excessive amounts of alcohol and smoking.
Yes, I know you don’t “eat” cigarettes. Unless they’re candy cigarettes. And in that case, they’re high in simple sugars, so you should maybe keep your intake to once a year at best.
And cigarettes DO have a very negative effect on the skin because they rob this key organ of oxygen, which it needs for elasticity and smoothness. So I figured this was as good a place as any to throw it in.
Notice I didn’t mention the sun itself as being bad for the skin. That’s because it’s NOT! What IS bad is long hours of sun exposure. Too much of any good thing can lead to a bad thing. You should know that by now.
In regards to the sun though, if you get adapted, you will become more resistant to its rays and develop a beautiful tan over time.
And that’s a good segue to where we’re headed with the foods that are best to protect you from the sun. In fact, these foods not only protect you from the sun, but they are also beneficial for the prevention of skin cancer and they also help with immune boosting in general.
Yes yes, I know. I’m not allowed to make any health claims. But you can bring that shit up with the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, CDC and all the rest of the health organizations who have spoken about the benefits of the vitamins contained in some of the foods I’m about to mention. More on that later…
In the meantime, let’s get down to the matter at hand. Add these foods and beverages to your diet and you will get a natural SPF factor, create a nice tan and help promote smooth, more supple skin.
Ketchup, tomato sauce, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes and salsa
All forms of berries
Wild caught salmon
Hemp and chia seeds
Green and black tea
Raw cacao (chocolate)
Red wine (organic and sulfite-free)
The foods and beverages listed above are not exclusive. These are just some examples. Here is why they are good for the sun and body in general. They contain vitamin A, vitamin C, lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, polyphenols and antioxidants that have been proven to be beneficial for the skin.
Citrus fruits, for example, are high in vitamin C. Cantaloupe and sweet potatoes contain vitamins A and C. Watermelon and tomato products contain lycopene and vitamin C. Wild caught salmon and chia and hemp seeds are rich in omega-3 fats. All of these nutrients combine together to promote healthier skin that will also help with the prevention of damage.
5 Final Take-home Hacks
OK, here are some final thoughts that you should commit to memory.
Include the mentioned foods and beverages in your diet every day during the summer to keep you skin looking and feeling healthy.
Get sun exposure in short periods of time when you just start going outside and gradually work your way up.
If you are going to be in the sun for multiple hours, use a good clean sunscreen that has zinc oxide and NO artificial ingredients!
If you do happen to get sunburn, rub the inside of a banana peel on it for relief. And eat the banana too because it’s a good source of prebiotics.
The sun also boosts vitamin D in the body, which translates to elevated mood and higher testosterone levels in men. Never fear it but also don’t overdo it.
Have a great day and ALWAYS be real,
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for our free membership to get home workouts and more cutting-edge information from My Inferno Body.