Healthy Summer Sun!

Healthy Summer Sun!

Los Angeles gives us summer-like weather almost all year round. But even here in California, the rays of the sun become more intense during the summer months, so regardless of where we live, we must all be extra mindful about our sun exposure during this time of the year.

The American Cancer Society states that there are over five million new skin cancer cases each year and that melanoma outweighs all other cancers combined! These are staggering statistics especially for those of us who live in a sunny climate and may be at increased risk.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about healthy sun exposure and whether or not a tan equals potential long-term damage to our skin. While there are many opinions on this topic, some things remain clear.

The basic guidelines to follow in order to reduce your overall risks of cancer and aging of the skin are:

  • Avoid lengthy sun exposure at peak times between 10am-4pm
  • Cover up with clothing, a brimmed hat, and sunglasses
  • Remain in shady areas between 10am-4pm
  • Apply quality sunscreen liberally to exposed areas

With new studies coming out about potential dangers of certain chemicals in sunscreen, it can be overwhelming trying to decide which ones to purchase to protect you and your family. As a general guide, stick to natural sunblock whenever possible. Look for creams and lotions that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as their main sun protection ingredients.

While the verdict is still out, certain ingredients may act as endocrine disruptors which can mimic the hormone estrogen. When made by the body or given as a drug, increased estrogen may affect reproductive organs and may also raise the risk of certain cancers. For more information, visit the Environmental Working Group EWG for a list of sunscreen products which can be harmful.

Along with being smart about your sun exposure, you may want to take some natural approaches too, in order to boost your body’s ability to block harmful UVA and UVB rays.

Astaxanthin– this potent antioxidant found most often in shrimp, salmon, lobster, and krill has been shown to increase the body’s natural ability to absorb UVA and UVB. Supplementing a minimum of 2mg of Astaxanthin per day, may help to lower your risk of cancer and reduce overall inflammation.

Topical Vitamin C– Applying a Vitamin C serum or cream with your sunscreen may act as extra defense from the damage that the sun causes to your skin. A serum is best, one that contains at least 15% pure Vitamin C.

CoQ10– Supplementing with Coenzyme Q10 and using it topically in creams or lotions may help to fight the free radicals that come from the sun’s rays. Italian researchers found that melanoma patients had very low levels of CoQ10 compared to those who were free of cancer. Another study in 2006 showed that topical CoQ10 suppressed the inflammation caused by UV radiation.

Healthy Exposure– More and more doctors and health practitioners are suggesting that 10-20 minutes of sun exposure to a large percentage of your skin without sunscreen, may actually be a healthy and good way to produce natural Vitamin D3. Some experts suggest doing this before 10am or after 4pm while others say that peak times are okay.

Vitamin D– Supplementing Vitamin D3 may help to boost immunity and reduce the risk of certain cancers. It is thought that taking Vitamin K along with D3 may increase the positive effects of a Vitamin D3 supplement.

Apart from avoiding skin cancer, many of us want to keep our largest organ looking young and supple. It really is a balancing act of getting enough rays to boost our health and immunity without overdoing it and causing sun-related aging of our skin.

Like all things in life, balance is key. It is vital that we don’t live in fear or angst about enjoying healthy sun time with friends and family, but also, ensuring that we are taking precautions and being smart.

Let this summer be one that you remember. Take the steps to protect yourself and then go out and celebrate this wonderful time of the year. Be healthy, be safe, and enjoy!

*Always consult with your doctor about healthy sun practices, especially if you have a history of melanoma or are at increased risk of cancer.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Coach Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

Secret Killer! Reduce Inflammation – Increase Life, Energy & Well-Being

By now, most of us know that inflammation within the body is one of the leading factors to increased disease and illness. In fact, heart disease, stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and numerous others are linked to chronic inflammation.  These health challenges are affecting more and more Americans each year and a large percentage of these cases could have been prevented.

A diet high in trans and hydrogenated fats and sugar along with highly processed carbohydrates like chips, cakes, and fast-food are the leading culprits with a lack of exercise also playing a critical role in the development of these illnesses.

Health educators have been getting the word out for years about ways to decrease harmful factors while increasing healthy lifestyle habits and there is hope that eventually this dangerous trend will dissipate.

There are subtle signs of inflammation too including indigestion, sinusitis, aches and pains, hay fever, allergies, bleeding gums, asthma, stiff joints, puffy eyes, skin rash, and headaches. In a natural, healthy state, our body should feel good most of the time. Any of these symptoms may be a clue that something is causing inflammation within your body. Paying attention to the early signs may be the key in preventing a more serious long-term illness.

Sometimes these early symptoms may be caused by environmental irritants such as air fresheners, candles, personal care products, or pollen while at other times it may be something internal such as a reaction to medications, foods, or even supplements.

I suggest that people listen to their body and the messages it sends us. If you don’t feel well, something is going on. Our body speaks to us at all times, and sometimes we need to get quiet and pay very close attention to that intuitive voice. If you’re having chronic issues of any type, begin looking for the source and don’t stop until you find it.

Here are some important ways to begin reducing inflammation today so that you can improve your overall health:

  • Rid your Home of Toxins – Chemical cleaners, air fresheners, and personal care products are the main cause of breathing issues and long-term damage especially to our lungs. Do yourself and your family a favor and throw out all chemical cleaners and personal care products and replace them with organic, healthy alternatives. For a list of which chemicals are the most harmful, visit: ewg.org
  • Elimination Diet – One of the easiest ways to figure out which foods are triggering you is to do a short elimination diet. Eliminate the main culprits including dairy, wheat, sugar, gluten, eggs, corn, and soy for 7 days. Gradually begin re-introducing them one at a time. Keep track in a food journal how you feel before, during, and after you eat them. Look for signs of inflammation including mucus, fatigue, headache, indigestion, scratchy throat, and watery eyes or nose. Sometimes these can occur the next day so pay special attention and trust your intuition.
  • Eat Alkaline – Too much acidity in our body can cause inflammation. Acidic foods include animal proteins, dairy products, sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Try offsetting your acidity by bringing in more alkaline foods and beverages. Dark leafy green vegetables, pink Himalayan sea salt, and fresh lemons and limes are especially alkaline for the body.
  • Superfoods – Some of the best ways to reduce inflammation are to consume concentrated forms of superfoods. Look for organic, raw, and non-GMO products such as: chlorella, spirulina, wheatgrass, sprouted kamut, turmeric, green tea, aloe vera, and tart cherry juice.
  • Gut Health – By building our healthy gut flora, we strengthen our overall system and help to reduce inflammation. Take a potent probiotic supplement daily, eat fermented foods such as sauerkraut, and kombucha tea. Bone broth has also been shown to reduce inflammation in the digestive track and colon. Focus on consuming more organic product to eliminate the consumption of Glyphosate which is a harmful chemical in herbicide sprays used on non-organic produce.
  • Omega 3 Oils – Adding more omega 3 rich foods to your diet in the form of hemp, flax and chia seeds, avocados, olives, salmon, sardines, and walnuts along with krill oil supplements, will help will help to off-set chronic inflammation and assist in creating healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Quality Sleep – Sleep is absolutely essential in reducing inflammation. Ensure that you get quality rest at night and consider taking a regular, short nap during the day when possible. Sleep is restorative and assists our immunity, hormones, and other bodily systems to work at their optimal. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night has been linked to increased inflammation.
  • Exercise – Doing some type of moderate exercise daily that keeps your heart rate at approximately 60-85% of its maximum (220-age x .85) helps to lower all inflammation markers within the body and assists in decreasing overall stress.
  • Chill – These days it is imperative to incorporate a de-stress practice. It will be different for each person but some of the proven methods of lowering C Reactive Protein which is one important inflammation marker in the body are deep breath work such as breath of fire, yoga, meditation, and chanting. The key is keeping it regular and making it a daily practice for best results.

While some inflammatory disease can be genetic, approximately 75% is related to our environment and our day to day lifestyle choices. Be wise, make good decisions and start today. Even the smallest of shifts can positively affect your life, energy, and well-being.

  • Always consult with your physician before making changes in your diet, exercise, or supplement regimen.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!

Is Your Scent Making You Sick?

Is Your Scent Making You Sick?

Why is it that I am always the one to sit next to the person who has poured on cologne and perfume just before heading out to the movie, theatre, or restaurant? And why is it that when I am exposed to such excess scents, I feel awful?

You may be able to relate. In fact, many people have similar experiences. A number of my friends and family get migraines, allergies, and tired spells when in the vicinity of a well-meaning perfume-wearing individual who may be clueless as to their negative effect on others.

More and more, chemicals and toxins are bombarding our environment. Many of these invaders we have no control over while others we do. Our bodies are often overloaded which is why they begin speaking to us with negative reactions as a way to say, “I can’t take this much longer, I am overburdened.”

Perfumes, body sprays, colognes, and even shampoos, and body gels are filled with so-called natural fragrance. What exactly does that mean? Well, that special designer blend that you wear may contain trace amounts of natural essences, but it is most likely concocted from any number of the fragrance industry’s 3,100 stock chemical ingredients!

In fact, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, commissioned independent laboratory tests that revealed 38 secret chemicals in 17 leading fragrances which don’t need to be listed on the bottle. As a consumer, we are left in the dark as to exactly what is in our products. While the American Cancer Society makes no conclusive claims that such chemicals cause cancer, many other studies do in fact reveal a connection.

As a wellness advocate, I speak regularly about detoxing our body and home from harmful chemicals in order to lighten the load from overexposure and to help our bodies to heal and rebalance. Aggravating reactions such as headache, sinus issues, skin rashes, allergies, and asthma for example, are signs that something is wrong. It is up to each of us to pay attention and listen to what our bodies are trying to tell us.

Our skin is our largest organ and it absorbs everything that we put onto it and rather quickly. With perfumes and colognes, we are hitting our body from two sides both topically and inhaling the potentially hazardous ingredients too.

If you’re committed to wearing your favorite scent then do yourself and others a favor and use it sparingly or better yet, look for a new favorite made from only pure essential oils. The goal with any scent is to offer a personal expression of our personality to the world but applied just light enough so that somebody next to us in an intimate setting can smell it. We shouldn’t wear it so that we are immediately noticed when walking into a room as if leaving the perfume counter at Bloomingdales.

It is time for us to not only think about ourselves but also others. Be considerate when going out and especially if you’ll be in an enclosed setting with others sitting near you. Just because you aren’t bothered by your scent, doesn’t mean that others wont be.

For more information go to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) website http://www.ewg.org and research a list of what chemicals to avoid in order to improve your health.

 

Jay Bradley is a Youthful Aging, Wellness & Lifestyle Expert Living in Los Angeles. http://www.JayBradleyLifestyle.com

He is the Best-Selling Author of LIVE LOOK FEEL, The 12-Week Guide to Live Longer, Look Younger & Feel Better!