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Protect Your Skin

Memorial Day marks the beginning of outdoor summer activities and the shelves of stores are packed with protective products for your skin.  Protecting your skin from the sun's glare is important, after all, it's your largest organ,  accounting for 10 to 15 percent of the body weight of most adults! It protects our bodies, helps regulate our temperature and gives us the sense of touch.  You can increase protection for your largest organ by healthy eating.   A healthy overall diet is beneficial to your entire body, but research has shown that there ares specific minerals and vitamins that offer extra protection to the skin.
  • Silica strengthens connective tissues, including your muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone, it maintains elasticity and aids in the healing process. Add leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, and asparagus to you diet for plenty of silica.
  • Zinc controls oil production of the skin and may help control some of the hormones that create acne. Fresh oysters, pumpkin seeds, ginger, pecans, Brazil nuts, oats, and eggs are great sources of zinc.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid is an important essential fatty acid and is vital for skin repair, moisture content, and  flexibility. The body cannot produce it's own omega 3s, so be sure to add some with flax seeds, salmon and walnuts!
  • Selenium is an antioxidant that is responsible for tissue elasticity. Additionally, it acts to prevent cell damage by free radicals and may play an important role in preventing skin cancer by protecting the skin from damage caused by excessive ultraviolet light. Look for wheat germ, tuna, salmon, garlic, eggs, and brown rice to add selenium to your diet.
The antioxidant vitamins C, E and A are also important to include in your diet to reduce free radical damge from overexposure to the sun or pollution.:
  • Vitamin C is highly effective at reducing free radical damage, such as that caused by overexposure to the sun or pollution. Add vitamin C to your meals with red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley, collard greens, turnips, and broccoli.
  • Vitamin E is another powerful anti oxidant that protects the skin from free radical damage.  Include almonds, spinach, peaches, prunes, tomatoes, cabbage, asparagus, and avocados in your nutrition regimen for vitamin E!
  • Vitamin A is a requirement for the maintenance and repair of skin tissue.  Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin A.
This Memorial Day give your summer a good start -- protect your skin with broad-spectrum sunscreen, if you're spending most of the day outdoors, reapply sunscreen about every two hours, wear a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Indoor or outdoors, include a healthy diet to ensure you're giving your largest organ the protection it deserves!

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