Summer time and the temperatures are in the 90s! Yep, it’s July and August in Oregon, which means lots of sunshine and hot temperatures. In this lovely rainy state, when we get to this time of year, we put on our shorts and tank tops and snag any moment we can to take in the warm sun. Getting outside to enjoy the great outdoors, get some fresh air and exercise, and of course taking in a healthy dose of Vitamin D. Summer time is good, as long as you do not overdo the sun exposure.
As lovely and warm as the sunny days are, all that sunshine can cause a lot of skin damage if you are not careful. Sun burns, premature wrinkles, brown “sun” spots, and even cancer are all at a much higher risk during the summer months. To help prevent these harmful side effects of enjoying the sunny days, it is important to always cover up. Remember what you mom always told you before you left the house?
Ok, so I probably did not tell you anything that you already did not know. It is the same old same old that you have heard since childhood, but did you know that covering up is not the only way to help protect yourself from the harmful rays of the sun? That’s right, what you put inside of you matters too!
Consuming a healthy diet that is full of natural sun blocking antioxidants will help ensure your body has the best defense against skin cancer. Add carotenoids for their compounds that give vegetables their vibrant and deep colors and acts as a natural sunscreen to plants. These compounds help fight free radicals, that contribute to problems like premature aging and can be a product of unprotected sun exposure. Here is a list of some sun protecting foods that you should add to your daily consumption this summer:
Courtney Truax, LMT is a graduate of East West College of the Healing Arts in Portland, Oregon. She is licensed through the Oregon Board of Massage Therapy and a member of the American Massage Therapy Association. She has her own studio massage practice in the heart of downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon.