Sunscreen in a Smoothie? Yes please!
Are those birds chirping?
Is that green grass growing?
Do the trees have leaves?
Is that the warm beautiful sun shinning on my face?
Is that Kimberly doing the happy dance?
Is that my skin starting to burn? YES!!
Thank the heavens it’s almost SUMMER!! Finally after a longgggg, cold and sickly winter here in Canada I am sure it took a beating on our spirit and immune systems; I was personally at the end of my 2nd pregnancy and hibernating anyways. Although now with a 3 month old and a two and a half year old we are ready to enjoy the sunshine.
Now that it is warm out we can start to think about how NOT to get sunburned. With a Scottish, Irish, English background my fair skinned family need to be careful of the sun. We tend to be outside more, soaking up some naturally occurring Vitamin D, which we most definitely need. Humans were meant to receive vitamin D through sun exposure. In light skinned individuals, this means 15-20 minutes of full sun exposure will stimulate the skin to produce enough vitamin D (up to 20,000 IU) for the following 24 hours. Those with darker pigmentation require longer exposure, which can be up to about an hour.
As much as we need vitamin D conventional wisdom says to slather on some sunscreen, the higher UV protection the better and call it a day, but this is problematic for a couple of reasons. Wearing any sunscreen blocks the body’s ability to produce Vitamin D, which is vital for hundreds of reactions in the body, deficiency of this nutrient has been linked to everything from digestive problems, depression, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, and basal cell carcinoma (CANCER).
Most conventional sunscreens on the market also contain toxic chemicals, oxybenzone, is one of the most common sunscreen ingredients, it has been shown to become cell disrupting and carcinogenic when exposed to sunlight. That can be far more dangerous than moderate sun exposure. Rates of melanoma have actually been shown to decrease with increased sunshine exposure. Despite the push for more awareness about sun exposure, and the advice to use sunscreen whenever we go outside, incidence of skin cancer, especially melanoma, is rising dramatically. In fact, skin cancer rates are rising by 4.2% annually, despite the fact that we spend less time outdoors and wear more sunscreen.
We need sunshine; the sun itself is not a carcinogen, it is the source of life to all things on this planet. That being said we don’t want to burn, too many burns can cause cancer and leave you looking like an old leather bag…no thanks. Additionally, sunscreen gives people the belief that they are safe to lie out and bake in the sun- that is when it becomes toxic. Our DNA is better able to repair from sunburn than from the effects of baking in the sun with sunscreen on.
Sunburn is a type of inflammation, and the state of our body in the presences of sun is more significant then just slathering on the sunscreen. Our diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body and filling our bodies with toxic, hydrogenated oils, processed sugars and coating our bodies in the chemical cocktails we call cosmetics is truly the issue.
In short term sunscreen will prevent a sunburn like antibiotics will help for most any illness but does this address the real issue, like why we get burnt easily in the sun and maybe long term still get cancer? No it doesn’t.
Certainly, it is wise to avoid burning and your best defense, as always, is prevention! Get sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon, wear a hat, seek shade and try light long sleeves, or UV protecting clothing if you have to be out in high sun hours, consume a lot of fresh, local, seasonal antioxidant loaded berries and greens, avoid consuming processed oils, and use zinc oxide as a sun deflector for more sensitive or fairer skin. There are many great natural sunscreens on the market as well (check The Cosmetic Database.) Also did you know you can also use coconut oil on the skin for light protection, as it is naturally about an SPF 4?
So other then natural sunscreens, what foods should you avoid and consume so you lessen the chance of getting burnt and still absorb Vitamin D? Let food be your medicine and protect you from sunburns, drink and eat your sunscreen.
- processed foods
- hydrogenated oils
- grains (especially processed, grains are a very inflammatory )
- processed sugars
- Healthy saturated fats (coconut oil, butter)
- Foods rich in omega-3s like fish and fish oil, flax and hemp seeds
- Leafy greens like kale, Swiss chard, spinach.
Antioxidants rich foods like blue berries, raw cacao (a true superfood with the most antioxidant flavanoid content out of any food tested. In addition to this, raw cacao contains important nutrients for skin health such as sulphur and beta-carotene.), hemps seeds, flax seeds, goji berries
Probiotic rich foods like raw honey (honey in its unpastuerized form is rich in a wide variety of nutrients. It boasts an overabundance of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, active enzymes, and probiotics to help our entire system function smoothly. It possesses strong antimicrobial and skin healing properties.)
Water: Healthy skin requires hydration and drinking a lot is needed. Although water helps to flush out waste and toxins, it is also necessary in carrying nutrients into the cells. Those nutrients need to get into the cells to protect your skin for the sun.
Some of my personal favorites are from Graydon Clinical Luxury by Nature SunCream, we learnt how to make it in a class I held with her and she is behind my soap and creams I sell. Another one that is sold at Glow Maternity is Substance Baby Natural Sun Care Creme and Stick for Baby.
One of my son and I’s favorite smoothies just happen to be sunscreen in a smoothie!!
- Super Cacao Blueberry Almond Milk
- Serves 1
- 1 cup of fresh Almond Milk
- 1/2 cup of ice (more or less to desired consistency)
small hand full of kale
- 1 cup of frozen blueberries (or fresh)
- 2 Tbs raw cacao powder or cacao beans
- 2 Tbs goji berries
- 1 Tbs flax or hemp seeds
- 1 Tbs of protein powder ( I use Sun Warrior natural)
- 1 Tbs of maple syrup or raw honey (optional, the fresh vanilla bean is good enough for me)
Blend all together till smooth and ENJOY!!
Notes: This drink is full of calcium, protein, omega 3 and 6, vitamin E, magnesium, B2, iron, zinc, vitamin C and lots of antioxidants just to name a few. You can add anything, like 1 tbs of spirulina.