Earlier we told you about skin cancer: the risk factors, warning signs and precautions to take when heading out into the sun. But are there other ways to prevent skin cancer? Keep reading to learn how you can protect yourself against skin cancer by adding certain nutrients to your diet.
Last week we brought you information about skin cancer, including risk factors, warning signs and precautions to take when heading out into the sun. This article will recommend ways to prevent and protect against skin cancer by adding certain nutrients to your diet.
All types of cancer – skin cancer included, have been liked to deficiencies in the diet. A cancer is formed when a carcinogen infiltrates a cell and corrupts its DNA, causing the DNA to mutate. Some of these mutations convert the normal cell into a potentially malignant cell and the cancer grows. Without a well-balanced diet, the body’s immune system doesn’t have the means to fight the mutations.
In addition to maintaining a balanced diet of high fiber and a moderate amount of fat, it is also essential to your body’s overall health for your diet to include nutrients known as antioxidants. Skin cells are especially susceptible to the oxidation process caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are responsible for deactivating free radicals and preventing oxidation, and as a result prevent carcinogens from entering healthy cells.
The following vitamins and minerals contain cancer-fighting compounds:
Vitamin A (and beta-carotene): Vitamin A is of particular value in preventing skin cancer as it maintains the integrity of the skin, and its beta-carotene localizes skin cells and protects the cells from light damage. Vitamin A is found in beef liver, sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, broccoli, apricots, peaches, milk, asparagus, brussel sprouts, kale, fresh raw spinach, mustard greens, tomato juice, yogurt, summer squash, green peas, corn, eggs, and green beans.
Vitamin E: Studies of Vitamin E have shown it can actually change newly-formed cancer cells back to normal cells. Vitamin E is found in soy beans, wheat germ oil, corn oil, margarine, dry lima beans, sunflower seeds, nuts, and fresh raw vegetables.
Vitamin C: This essential vitamin is thought to inhibit cancer from spreading by neutralizing an enzyme made by cancerous cells that would otherwise help the cancer to spread. Vitamin C is found in all citrus fruits and their juices, cantaloupe, papaya, mango, apricots, peaches, strawberries, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, parsley, tomatoes, potatoes, and green and red peppers.
Selenium: This mineral appears to have the ability to protect individual cells from attacks by chemicals and viruses that can cause cancer. It also prevents cancerous cells from multiplying by slowing down the cellular processes. Selenium is found in seafood (especially tuna and herring), kidney, liver, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, bran, whole grain cereals, sesame seeds, egg yolks, mushrooms, chicken, milk and garlic.
Vitamin D: By protecting your skin from the sun, you may be blocking out Vitamin D synthesis. To counter this effect, make sure you are getting enough Vitamin D in your daily diet. Vitamin D is found in milk, tuna, cod-liver oil, salmon and egg yolks.
Of course, if you are unable to get enough of the above nutrients in your diet through traditional means, you can always add a nutritional supplement to your daily regimen.
Remember – the skin is one of the largest organs of your body and has many jobs vital to healthy living. It protects your body from injury, helps your systems to function properly by receiving sensory impulses and by excreting waste products, and regulates your body temperature through perspiration. Such an important organ should be protected and cared for as much as possible, don’t you think?