Food, glorious food!
We all like to eat… right? So why not eat foods which provide us with protection from things like cancer? In researching this article I scoured the literature for foods which had research to back up claims that they could reduce the risk of skin cancer. I looked to reputable sources such as The American Cancer Society as well as well publicized research studies. Yet despite the studies and research of the foods I will discuss, it is important to know that there is no diet or supplement which can prevent skin cancer as much as using protection against harmful UV rays. You can eat cancer fighting foods all you want but if you visit tanning beds regularly or go out into the mid-day sun without sun block you may get skin cancer.
For more tips and suggestions about skin cancer prevention please visit our Skin Cancer Prevention Guide.
Here are four foods which reportedly decrease one’s risk for skin cancer:
1. Hot black tea with lemon peel
Lemons are a great source of Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant. Lemons also have a compound called limonene which has documented anticancer properties. When the peel of lemons is combined with hot black tea, protection against skin cancer dramatically increases.
In 2001 the BBC News cited a study from the University of Arizona in which researchers concluded that: “Citrus peel in the tea was found to have more than a 70% reduced risk for skin squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), whereas black tea alone meant a 40% reduction.”
It also seemed to matter that the tea was hot and not cold. The researchers found that iced drinks were less effective than the hot beverages as they were more likely to be diluted.
Some sources say that one tablespoon a week of the grated lemon peel into your hot black tea is all you need to make a significant difference.
Popeye had it right all along. Spinach is a power food which can make you feel strong and energized due to its high iron content. But did you also know that Spinach can increase your body’s ability to protect itself from sun damage?
Spinach is a natural anti- inflammatory and the Vitamin B in spinach helps to also maintain the firmness of your skin. Spinach contains 13 flavonoids with anticancer properties which protect you from several types of cancer including skin cancer. And it seems that there is research to back up this claim.
In 2006 it was reported by the Queensland Institute of Medical Research that "Green leafy vegetables are good sources of folic acid, vitamins A, C and E, the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, and other components which may help boost the skin's natural defense against damage caused by UV rays,"
The researchers took a look at over a thousand people randomly selected who were living in a sunny sub-tropical region. They followed up with individuals for a decade and discovered that a high intake of green leafy vegetables including spinach cut the risk of reoccurring skin cancer by 55% in those individuals with a history of skin cancer. So if you have had skin cancer in the past you might want to whip up some spinach salads.