Lower Your Risk of Skin Cancer with These Everyday Foods

Since your skin is the body’s barrier to the environment, it is important to continuously strengthen its protective abilities.

While covering up with clothing or applying sunscreen are great methods of protection, there are supplementary options available to combat the risk of skin damage. Adding nutrient-rich foods to your diet is an easy and effective way to give your skin a sturdy defense against the sun. Here are some foods you should consider stocking up on and enjoying this summer.

Sweet Potatoes – These root vegetables are high in beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, which is correlated to preventing cancer. Swapping out normal potatoes for this orange alternative can not only lower your risk of cancer, but also strengthen your immune system.
Tomatoes – Did you know that tomatoes have a sun protectant built into their red exterior? The antioxidant lycopene is pigmented red and can be found in many fruits and vegetables that share the same bright coloring as tomatoes. Researchers have found that people with a regular intake of tomatoes can handle larger amounts of UV radiation before it becomes harmful.
Almonds – While most nuts are a great source of Vitamin E, almonds take the gold. Vitamin E helps strengthen the skin’s ability to defend itself. With a stronger exterior, cancer risk decreases as well as potentially damaging your skin permanently.
Chickpeas – Most commonly found in hummus, chickpeas are members of the legume family. Zinc is one of the many nutrients that can be found in this protein-packed snack. Not only do they boost your immune system, but chickpeas also help to repair DNA – specifically repairing DNA that could lead to different kinds of cancer if left untreated.

Pairing these foods in addition to using sunscreen containing SPF is a great way to protect your skin and prevent skin cancer. While this list is not exhaustive, it gives a starting point to know what kinds of foods to nosh on before heading outside.

For more information on skin protection, check out these posts:

11 Tips to Keep Your Skin Sun Safe
The one thing you aren’t doing to protect your skin from the sun
5 Steps to Take Now to Protect Your Skin All Summer

Photo Credit: Marco Verch

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