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Body-friendly foods to better health

POSTED: August 10, 2011 10:30 p.m.
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Robyn Kretschmar is a registered nurse and respiratory therapist who has lived in Richmond Hill for more than 14 years.

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Can food help protect your skin? You bet it can.
Many common foods offer protection to your skin from the inside out. Plants produce antioxidants to protect their own cells from destruction from heat, light, air, moisture and time. When we consume these foods, natural agents protect our own skin cells, providing protection from UVA and UVB rays. 
Here’s a rundown of some beneficial foods:
• Colored peppers – Red, yellow and orange peppers look and taste great from natural pigments called carotenoids, which convert vitamin A by inhibiting the destruction of the thin fat layer around skin cells.
• Red ripe tomatoes – Tomatoes are red from lycopene. This antioxidant protects the prostate gland in males and protects male and female skin cells from sun exposure.
• Yellow squash – Squash are bright yellow from carotenoids. These provide solar defense in the skin.
• Watermelon – Watermelon also contains lycopenes to cool and protect your skin.
• Green tea – Green tea is a superfood that protects your heart, decreases cancer risk, helps with weight control, increases immunity and helps detoxify the body. It contains phenols that protect from UVA and UVB rays.
• Cocoa – Cocoa is an ultra superfood containing more than 700 enzymes, which protect from heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and skin protection.
• Blue and purple berries – These berries contain anthocyanins, which protect the skin and help in degenerative diseases in the entire body.
So, with summer here and all of these foods readily available, go out, wear your sunscreen, dress with your hats and shades, drink plenty of water and enjoy nature’s bounty. 

Kretschmar is a registered nurse and respiratory therapist who loves to combine her love of medicine with her love of cooking. She and her family have lived in Richmond Hill for more than 14 years.

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