Don’t Fry Day is a national health observance day—it is to be observed the Friday before Memorial Day to educate the public about skin cancer. As warm weather approaches, the risk of Ultraviolet rays damaging your skin increases. Skin cancer is a serious matter—more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined. Sadly, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70 and every hour someone dies of skin cancer. What can we do to prevent these staggering statistics?
Here are some general tips to help prevent skin cancer, including nutrition tips!
- Wear long-sleeved clothing when sun is the strongest (between 10 a.m. p.m.). If you think it is too hot for long sleeve, linen clothes are very light-weight. Also consider athletic dry-wicking clothing. There are even clothes that have UV protection built in!
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses throughout summer.
- Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that is SPF 30 or higher
- Get your vitamin D safely through a healthy diet. Dairy products, egg yolks and fatty fish are all good sources of vitamin D.
- Eat sun-protective food. Yes, some foods help, here are just a few:
- Eat foods rich in lycopene, like watermelon, grapefruit, cooked tomatoes, tomato sauce, or chili powder. Studies show that lycopene helps protect against the sun!
- Load up on broccoli. Broccoli, especially the florets, is a good source of sulforaphane, a compound that reduces the risk of skin cancer.
- Eat pomegranates. Pomegranates are well known to contain tons of antioxidants and known as sun-protective. Some scientists say they can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Click here to learn how to prepare a pomegranate or drink pomegranate juice!
- Fill up on flaxseed. Omega 3 fatty acids in flaxseeds can protect your skin from sunburn, reduce additional inflammation if sunburn occurs, and fight against skin cancer. According to the National Institute of Health, flaxseed oil can protect your skin against UV rays and keep your skin moisturized so it won’t dry out, as well as fight against skin cancer. Make a salad dressing using the oil or add some in your morning smoothie!
Summer is the season of fun and we’re meant to enjoy the sun…just go about having fun in the sun smartly by applying the tips above. Don’t fry today or at all this summer!