Healthy for Life

The sun is here! These suggestions have your back - naturally



A s the sun shines and our land begins to flourish with living color so too do our bodies and minds begin to absorb the light. We are growing, thriving and alive once again after a long season of some serious shoveling out of snow, or whatever else has been piling up during the cold black and white colored months. A s the season blossoms forward and our bodies absorb more sunlight, you may want to enrich yourself with protection to guard against what could cause discomfort or damage to your body or skin. We have been waiting a while for these precious warmer days to come so I am offering some solutions that may help you on our sunlit journeys.

Sun and skin protection



W e can ingest or use certain foods, herbs, spices or supplements naturally to help protect our skin from penetrating harmful rays. Here are several suggestions to help defend your skin.

• Consume safe drinking water, especially if
you are sweating or are active.
• Drink green tea. This is also used topically
in some skin lotions. Make sure you drink
more water when consuming any caffeinated
• Getting high antioxidants. Some people may
need more vitamin D than what you are getting from the sun. You may want to consume
more green leafy vegetables, spirulina
or algae’s. Omega-3 fatty acids such as
sockeye salmon, trout, krill or shrimp. Also
watermelon, melons, berries and cucumbers
keep the skin cool and nourished. Processed
foods with grains and sugars break down

protected skin barriers.
• Shade, sunglasses, hats, umbrellas and light
colored clothing can help with defending
some sun rays.
• Eye protection. Besides the
light from the sun, our
eyes, with a higher
concentration in the
retina, are absorbing more UV
blue light than
ever through
screens such as
in computers,
cell phones,
televisions, iPods, etc. Having
proper eyewear,
your omega 3s, and
using safe eye
supplements and
drops may help.
• Coconut and almond oil and
shea butter or oil have a naturally
occurring sun protection factor (SPF) of
about four to six. Red raspberry oil has about
25 SPF and carrot oil about 38-40 SPF. Most
of these oils need other carrier oils to better
absorb into your skin. Zinc oxide adds a
higher SPF, protecting against most rays.
Beeswax can be added to sunscreen which
helps for waterproofing, antibacterial and
anti-inflammatory properties.

M any over-the-counter sunscreens could contain harmful chemicals that may do more harm than good. Be sure to check your labels or make your own sunscreen with some of the above ingredients. First, be sure to check on ingredients that may cause skin or allergy reactions. O ne day I was looking for an over-the-counter sunscreen and the sales assistant kept insisting that the ingredients were all natural, allergy-free, and organic and that I wouldn’t have a problem with it. I explained that it doesn’t matter how natural, organic or allergy-free the product states it is, a person could still have a negative reaction or allergy to it. Try to get a sample or test it on your wrist first before applying on the rest of your body.

Too many tomatoes

I begin this topic with a personal story since

I developed intolerance to tomatoes two summers ago. I sensed that I was eating too many as I began picking tomatoes out of dishes that I was receiving in restaurants. Last spring I had a blood test done to find out what foods were causing more grief in my body than others. Turns out tomatoes were one of them. Since then, I have been on the hunt for a healthy tomato while eliminating most tomatoes from my food sources. M y first clue as to what was going on was because of my grandfather Louis, my father’s father. My grandma Edna mostly grew tomatoes. Grandpa Louie loved his tomatoes and he loved ketchup. He put ketchup on just about everything, even Grandma Edna’s infamous buttermilk pancakes! Grandpa Louie suffered from extremely bad rheumatoid arthritis.

Since the early ’70s, I can remember grandpa having a hard time walking and not going out of the house all winter long. He had some new medicine which affected his heart, eyesight and he was losing his hair, but eventually he lost the battle at age 74.

I also remember Grandpa Louis as another father who read stories to me, told me I would make a good teacher and he made me feel protected. Thank you Grandpa and God bless your soul!

Back to tomatoes. They are a nightshade vegetable – a type of veggie that is known to aggravate arthritis or intolerances (which I have as well). Besides the side effects of certain tomatoes or too many tomatoes, they may cause acid reflux, migraines, muscle aches, dermatitis, kidney issues, increase bleeding, stomach ulcers, lower blood pressure, worsen hot flashes, chest pain and interact with chemotherapy and prostate cancer.

E ating the tomato leaf in large quantities can cause ill effects as well.

Lycopene, which is also found in tomatoes, can result in the negative side effect of aggravating pregnancy. Canned tomatoes are on the top 10 list for possibly causing cancer.

Solanine, a toxic alkaloid in tomatoes, is a defense mechanism to protect the tomato and the high acid content in the tomatoes can leach the aluminum from the can. Y ou may want to pay attention to your tomato consumption or how you feel after consuming or using tomatoes. Also know how your tomatoes are grown or processed. There are many pluses to tomatoes such as protecting the skin and your heart. A good tomato is a rare jewel, please handle with care.

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