Spice it Up: Nutrition for Skin Care
Summer is the time to spice it up! Many spices contain strong antioxidants that help mitigate the damage caused by sun exposure. Spices are also rich in antioxidants: Antioxidants help prevent skin cancer by reducing inflammation, decreasing free radicals and preventing thymine dimmers.
Ginger has been shown to suppress colon cancer production in rats. Curry, which contains turmeric, is a very strong antioxidant which has been shown to decrease cancer production. Basil, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, oregano and thyme have also been shown to have strong antioxidant activity.
Don't be afraid to cook with spices for fear of decreasing their health benefits. One study looked at the effect of heat and cooking on the antioxidant properties of these spices and found that heating them to 180°C in the cooking process for 10 minutes did not affect the efficacy of antioxidant activity. In fact, when nutmeg was heated, it became an even stronger antioxidant.
Antioxidants are everywhere in your kitchen. Many oils such as olive oil and safflower oil contain antioxidants. Other sources include green tea, dark chocolate, berries, pomegranate, almonds and coffee.
Dermatologists are embracing the role of nutrition in good skin care. A diet rich in spices and fruit is a good idea in summer to combat the increased sun exposure. However, don’t forget the sunscreen!
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