Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spa Girl asks, do you know what blueberries, dark chocolate and sunscreen have in common?

What kind of a question is this?

Who doesn't like blueberries and dark chocolate, but what does sunscreen have to do with this equation.  Blueberries, dark chocolate and sunscreen are three essential requirements of keeping your skin beautiful, supple and smooth.
But the most important way to keep skin gorgeous is to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. Sun causes skin damage, wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer, so with summer just around the corner you need a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays with a SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply often, especially if you are in and out of the water on those lovely hot days.

Dr. Joey Shulman writes in Canadian Living Magazine about the 5 best antioxidant-rich foods.
"We've all been told to eat foods that are rich in antioxidants for optimal health and wellness. But what are antioxidants? By definition, antioxidants such as vitamins A and C are substances that can help prevent the effects of free radical damage in the body. In other words, antioxidants can neutralize the process of oxidation and cellular damage which contributes to aging and disease. 
Some foods are extremely high in antioxidant content. I recommend consuming these foods on a regular basis to reverse the signs of aging and to help prevent – and even reverse – various disease processes such as cancer and heart disease, plus reduce blood pressure".  

The 5 best antioxidant-rich foods
 1. Berries 
In addition to being deliciously sweet, berries such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries offer an abundance of antioxidant capacity. Blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are rich in proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that can help prevent cancer and heart disease. Eat them frozen in a morning smoothie, toss a handful over your morning yogurt or cereal or enjoy them as an afternoon snack.

2. Broccoli
Broccoli definitely takes the gold medal for most nutritious vegetable. This cruciferous vegetable contains more vitamin C than an orange and has more calcium than a glass of milk. In addition to minerals and vitamins, broccoli is filled with disease-fighting chemicals called phytonutrients. Sulforaphane, a phytonutrient found in broccoli, has been shown to lower the risk of many types of cancers. Try steaming or boiling broccoli and seasoning with basil, lemon or salsa for a delicious side dish. This powerhouse vegetable is a perfect addition to omelettes, salads or stir-frys.
3. Garlic
Garlic is used around the world as a delicious flavouring agent for any dish. The health benefits of garlic have been well touted for centuries, and raw garlic has been used as a natural antibiotic to kill off some strains of harmful bacteria. Garlic is also useful for decreasing blood pressure and cholesterol, removing heavy metals from the body, preventing cancer and acting as an antifungal and antiviral agent. One clove of garlic contains vitamins A, B and C, selenium, iodine, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium.

4. Green tea 
Green tea contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. These compounds work in the body with other chemicals to heighten levels of fat oxidation and thermogenesis (a state created in the body by burning fat as fuel). On average, you should try to consume a minimum of three cups of green tea per day for weight loss effects. Green tea has also been shown to be preventative against cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. 

5. Tomatoes
Tomatoes are by far the richest source of a powerful anticancer agent called lycopene. In fact, research has shown lycopene to be an even more powerful disease fighter than vitamin E and beta carotene. Lycopene needs fat for optimal absorption to occur. Therefore, putting the healthy fat olive oil in your spaghetti sauce is an excellent trick to increase your lycopene levels. Start including more tomatoes in your diet in the form of sliced, whole, canned, stewed or sauced tomatoes or tomato paste.  
In addition to the list above, red grapes, spinach, carrots and whole grains also offer plentiful antioxidant content.
From antioxidants to sunscreen; how to decide which product is right for you can be a major dilemma when there are so many choices out there. 

Julyne Derrick, from one of my all time favourite, and trustworthy websites, says...
"I've done the research on sunscreen and compiled the best sunscreens on the market. Organic sunscreen, sport sunscreen, sunscreens safe enough for baby and the Best Sunscreen in the World. 

Research shows 90 percent of wrinkles are caused by the sun's UVA light and sun damage is the #1 cause of premature aging in women and men. The best sunscreens provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection. Look for either zinc or titanium minerals in your sunscreen".

Here is the link to Julynes sunscreen suggestions:

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