Posted by: Skin and Cancer Institute in Medical Dermatology, Uncategorized

You want your skin to radiate health, AND you don’t want to get skin cancer. Well, you can get both healthy skin and avoid skin cancer too. How? Eat. Healthy. Foods. 

Studies show their antioxidants, immune boosters, and anti-inflammatory properties in food will improve the look of your skin and could reduce your risk of skin cancer. 

Beta Carotene 

This nutrient converts to vitamin A to boost your immune system’s ability to fight disease, which may include skin cancer. You can find it in fruits and vegetables that are orange-colored, including:

  • Carrots
  • Apricots 
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Squash
  • Mango
  • Cantaloupe

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Skin cancer has been linked to inflammation, and omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. You can find this beneficial nutrient in walnuts and flaxseeds. Also, look for it in the following types of fish:

  • Albacore tuna
  • Sardines
  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring

Zinc

Zinc helps fight cancer by keeping the immune system functioning well. A 2017 study found it replenishes antioxidants. It also helps boost proteins that help with DNA repair. Look for zinc in foods like:

  • Black beans
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Shellfish
  • Beef 
  • Lamb

Lycopene

Reports have linked lycopene to a lower risk of some cancers. Plus, lycopene’s red pigment may help prevent sunburn. Foods that contain lycopene include papaya, apricots, blood oranges, pink grapefruit, guava, tomato, watermelon.

Polyphenols in Tea

Studies show green tea helps prevent skin cancer because it has antioxidants plus tumor-inhibiting and anti-inflammatory properties. This can help repair cell damage from sun exposure. 

Surprisingly, green tea absorbs UV damage and scavenges for free radicals. You’ll need four to six cups of green tea each day to reap these skin benefits. 

Selenium

Studies show that a high selenium intake could lower your risk of cancer by about 30 percent. But where do you find this mineral? Look for Brazil nuts plus meats like chicken and grass-fed beef. 

Vitamin C

When we say vitamin C, you say…oranges? Yes? We’re not surprised! For most people, this is their go-to vitamin-C-rich food. 

But Vitamin C can be found in so many other foods…they’re worth exploring. In addition to citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes, look for vitamin C in the following three vegetables:

  • Broccoli
  • Bell Peppers
  • Leafy greens 

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has proven immune-boosting properties and the most beneficial form is vitamin D3. But where, besides milk products, can it be found? Look for vitamin D in the following three foods:

  • Beef liver
  • Fatty fish
  • Egg yolks

Vitamin E

This proven antioxidant prevents free radical damage to your skin. It also absorbs UV-light energy and helps skin and veins act as protective barriers to the sun. You can find vitamin E in the following three foods: 

  • Soybeans
  • Wheat germ 
  • Sunflower seeds

The Last Word

Your skin can look radiant, AND you can prevent skin cancer by eating nutritious foods. Studies show that foods with antioxidants, immune boosters, and anti-inflammatories all promote skin health and could reduce your risk of cancer. 

So, look for the following nutrients: beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lycopene, polyphenols in tea, selenium, and vitamins C, D, and E. 

Wondering if your food choices are doing enough to give you radiant skin and reduce your risk of cancer? Ask your dermatologist during your annual skin check-up. 

Ready to schedule your appointment? Call the Skin and Cancer Institute today at 888-993-3761 and we’ll get you all set up.