Summer brings to mind fun days at the beach, family vacations, baseball games, and lots of other outdoor activities. What doesn’t always come to mind is UV safety, and since July is UV Safety Month, it’s a good reminder that while we’re enjoying the best of summer fun, we also need to pay attention to protecting our skin. The obvious ways to protect your skin from the sun include applying (and reapplying) sunscreen and wearing a hat or long sleeves. But you might not know that certain phytonutrients, natural plant chemicals that enhance health, can also protect your skin against the negative effects of the sun.
Enjoying Summer Sun Safely: Think Bioflavonoids
One group of phytonutrients that research has found effective in supporting skin health and resiliency are flavonoids and bioflavonoids, plant pigments and compounds that are beneficial for health. Some act as scavengers for free radicals (the toxic results of oxygen metabolism), absorb UVA rays, and reduce damage to DNA in cells.
Researchers in a number of countries have reported the positive effects of bioflavonoids. In one Italian study, drinking tea every day and eating lots of vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits, reduced the likelihood of developing cutaneous melanoma, a common skin cancer. An Australian study looked at tea consumption and the corresponding reduction in the development of a precancerous skin condition called actinic skin damage. Clinical trials in the US revealed both short-term and long-term benefits from consuming bioflavonoids. The short-term benefits were increased circulation and hydration to the skin along with less skin roughness and scaling. The long-term benefits included decreased incidence of sunburn by 15% after 6 weeks of treatment and a
July is National Culinary Arts month, and this means a time to celebrate the creative joys of cooking. Some people approach cooking as an expression of their creativity, and they enjoy concocting their own recipes, using a combination of guess-work and tasting foods and seasonings to yield the best results. Others, though, see cooking as a chore, and with busy work schedules, kids to chauffeur to activities, and household responsibilities, time to cook often means drudgery.
With the convenience of food delivery businesses and takeout, not cooking can be awfully appealing. But July might be your month to change this perspective and move toward greater health for you and your family, one meal at a time. Enhance your family’s wellness by cooking healthful meals at home, using the support of a meal plan with healthy recipes and resources.
Healthful Recipes and Resources Are Just a Click Away
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the US Department of Health & Human Services, says that having a healthy eating plan in place can reduce your risk of cardiac issues or other health problems. Having a plan helps you remember to include lean proteins, vegetables, and healthy fats that are a part of a good diet, and it also makes it easier to control the size of your portions, another aspect of eating healthfully.
In its article “Meal Prep: A Helpful Healthy Eating Strategy,” the Harvard School of Public Health talks about the nuts and bolts of setting up your healthy meal plan. Ideas like creating a menu, shopping once a week to purchase items needed to prepare your meals, and cooking foods in advance like hard-boiled eggs, roasted vegetables and