SPF and Skin Health

There are over 3.5 million skin cancers occurring in over two million people annually in the US. Since it is the most common form of cancer in the States, it has become the another major health concern of the government.

Sun and the Skin

The sun with all its glory can wreak havoc in the skin. It can burn out the outer layer of the skin, dry it out and even cause a few reddening problem. Sunburn can be the start of everything harmful, and some of this harm isn’t just skin deep. Although tanning has become a widely acceptable practice, it can also lead to some people’s demise.

Sun related skin problems can be minor once it includes only little sun burns. But once prolonged exposure results to other problems such as getting higher risk for cancer, then the sun may not be your friendly tanning companion anymore.

People who are near the equator and those that are in the dessert areas may tend to adapt more with the sun rage. But once you are fair skinned and sudden and prolonged exposure has happened, then there are various scenarios that can play a role in it.

Sunscreen Hype

To ward off sun’s rays and its effect, people developed certain ways to be able to avoid it or shield themselves. One of the things that are used includes shields from the heat and the sun in forms of parasols, umbrellas, caps, hats, visors and wearing clothing that can cover exposed skin.

Due to this concern, bigger companies marketed sunscreen creams and lotions. These products aim to cover the skin as much as possible and ward off the harmful effects of the sun.

The sunscreen has become hype since most people now are well aware of the sun’s harmful effects. But it is one hype that never gone out of fad. These sunscreens only just got better and better, SPF protection got higher and higher.

SPF and Numbers

The SPF rating of sunscreen usually makes it sell. SPF means the Sunburn Protection Factor. It argues the product’s effectiveness against sunburn causing UV rays. For people who are exposed or are doing some outdoor activities an SPF 30 or higher is recommended.

Broad spectrum is also recommended foremost sunscreen labels when you choose one. And sweat or water resistant sunscreen is usually recommended since they can last a bit longer when exposed to sweat or any water forms. Water resistant sunscreens though doesn’t mean it can stay in your skin for the whole day, it can last from 40 to 80 minutes after a soak in the pool or in the beach.

Other types of sunscreen involve the mineral and the chemical based. The chemical based sunscreen absorbs UV rays then releases it as small amount of heat while mineral based sunscreen reflects UV rays. The latter can be chosen by people who are with sensitive skin.

For additional protection, FDA approved components include the Avobenzone and zinc oxide mineral.

 Debunking Sunscreen Myths

There is different sunscreen myths which many people still believes. Here are some.

    1. Sunscreen can cause Vitamin D deficiency. It can’t be that possible since vitamin D can also be taken from other foods and dietary supplements.
    2. You don’t need sunscreen in cloudy weather. Even if the clouds are on, still 40%of UV rays reach the earth. So don’t get surprised when you get sunburned after staying outdoor even in a cloudy day.
    3. 80% of sun exposure is during childhood. The idea that you can’t undo sun exposure problems since you had everything during childhood isn’t true.  People who are over 40 are more likely to have higher dose of UV rays since they spend more time outdoors.

SPF Protection and Government Advices

An SPF of 100 doesn’t mean to have twice the protection of SPF50.  Proper and repeated application is more likely to help in the protection. This health concerns has even prompted several educational institutions to provide sun creams to their pupils.

In England, a health charity is urging the government to provide schools more information and advices so that kids will be able to know and be aware of sun and its effects as well as the sue of sun creams and sunscreens as sun protection. England also provides occasional sun advice from its Public Health.

Today, sunscreens are properly labeled since consumers are more vigilant with their product choices. Australia has been one of the countries to have more vigilant sun fighting information drives. Lately, SPF50+ has been made popular and available in the country which has high melanoma rates even decades back.

Taking an Action

One of the biggest problems why sun fighting isn’t successful is laziness. Slathering on sunscreen seemed a hard work to do for some. But realizing that the sun can wreak havoc quietly can change that. Next time you go outside, pick up that sun cream, provide attention to thin skinned part of the body like in the face and put the right amount of it.

And next time you decided on a tanning bed, try to think twice or thrice. And Umbrellas, hats and protective clothing even at a balmy weather is very important.

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Disease Fighting Superfoods

Every year, an estimated 50 million and more people die from diseases worldwide. These according to the data of the World Health Organization can be blamed with cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic lung diseases. Of which cardiovascular diseases that has been a result of s many other factors has topped them all resulting to 3 in every 10 deaths.

A big factor among these heightened killing of these mentioned diseases came from the condition of obesity, inactivity, and bad eating habits.

Healthy Eating

Over the course of years, several things have been done by most governments all over the world. They campaigned, they put awareness, and they launched programs. But obesity and the mentioned diseases continues to plague the population. Australia’s health council has come out with a healthy eating guide while denouncing some discretionary food and drink choices.

In the US, the department of health has even released its 2015 dietary guidelines. These mentioned guidelines have already been put into awareness of many. The UK government even put it into adverts pushing for food swaps for good health.

These national government campaigns all include the options of calling for more natural foods in the table while banking on those foods that may offer more than health benefits such that they can fight diseases.

Superfood – Healthy Food Swaps

Superfood, a group of food categorized to contain certain benefits more than the other foods, are known in the nutrition world to pack a heap of health giving benefits, fight off diseases and cleanse the body for better system functioning.

Superfoods can range from simple seeds and nuts to fruits and veggies, into specific lean meat and of course fatty fish.

Precautionary measures though for consumers should be practiced first before they trust products claiming to have superfoods. Since its boom, superfoods benefits can’t only be present in natural foods but in selected products as well. FDA approved Superfood though can only be few.

Superfoods to Fight Diseases

Kale. Kale is known to contain sulphoraphane, a compound that may help ward off certain cancers. It contains beta carotene, Vitamin K and Vitamin C.

Spinach. Like Kale, spinach contains beta carotene, vitamin K and Vitamin C but in a different level of course. IT also contains iron and vitamin B6.  Spinach ahs the glycoglycerolipids that inhibits the DNA polymerase activates in the solid tumor growth. It also has a capacity to fight cancer. It also contains folate which is good for the brain.

Chia. Chia is plant source of the famed omega-3 fatty cuds. It contains protein, vitamins and minerals all in its tiny seed. Chia also ash the capacity to stabilize sugar, lower cholesterol and boost energy.

Salmon. Salmon is considered to be one of the best Superfoods there is. Although you have to trust a wild salmon at that. Wild salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which is beneficial for cardiovascular disease and can fight diabetes.  Salmon is one of the fish in the oily category such as trout, halibut, herring and mackerel.

Calamari. Calamari is more times more potent than salmon when it comes to omega-3 talk. Calamari, for those who are not familiar with it, is a squid. It contains       omega-3 fatty acids which are polyunsaturated fats that can fight inflammation and help in arthritis pain. It has capacity to strengthen the heart as mentioned.

Oats. Oats have this heart healthy benefits that can decrease cholesterol. Oats contains fiber which also helps in managing weight. With its lignin called enterolactone, it protects against breast and other hormone dependent cancers.

Blueberries. Blueberries have manganese, fiber, vitamin K and vitamin C. Blueberries can help fight cancer while preventing heart disease. IT also has positive benefits for diabetes.

Olive oil. Olive oil is a monounsaturated fats which is equally beneficial. It helps lower heart disease by lowering ones cholesterol.  Olive oil in recipes can also reduce the upper digestive, respiratory tract, breast and colorectal cancer.

Coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of the few oils that have been included in many Superfood list. It is slow in oxidizing which make it last longer without oxidizing. It also has lauric acid that can improve lipid profile. And plus, it can also help you lose weight.

Buffalo Berries. Buffalo berries are the newest in 2014 to be added in the superfoods lists although it has still limited studies behind it. These berries contain lycopene, an anti-oxidant that protects against cell damage. It contains also phenols which are believed to have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Whole Grains. Whole grains are mostly filled with fiber. It helps lower cholesterol while containing folic acid, selenium, B vitamins and other benefits. Most important benefits of superfoods include weight control, reduction of diabetes and promotion of digestive health.

Sweet Potatoes. Sweet potatoes contains anti-oxidants including beta carotenes, vitamin C and E, folate, calcium and potassium.

And there are More

The list above is just a speck in the whole picture of superfoods. There are more in the list and there are more in the benefits. The best way to remember it is to pack your meals with nutritional punch.  While choosing these superfoods is good, it shouldn’t replace everything that you eat. Combine it with all other menus. But once these superfoods can’t be present in your meals, try as much as possible to supplement it with supplements. There is plenty of it to choose from as long as it’s been approved for your health as well.

Image Credit: brianna.lehman via Flickr