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!

Healthy Air Travel

Healthy Air Travel

Traveling by plane just isn’t as much fun as it used to be. The airports are packed, line-ups are long, and the whole experience is a bit tedious and nerve-wracking.

Add onto that the stress on the body from sitting in an enclosed metal compartment at high altitude for hours. During this time we are often exposed to germs and we experience a lack of fresh air, and poor circulation due to air pressure. All of this and we have the possibility for looming illness. In fact, it is not uncommon for those who fly to get a sinus infection, cold, or flu soon after their flight.

The good news is that there are ways to lessen the negative effects of flying on your health. Here is a list of things that you can do to prepare for your next flight and reduce your risk of getting sick:

  • Oil of Oregano – Make sure to bring a small bottle of Oil of Oregano in your carry on and take 3-5 drops under your tongue followed by water at least once or twice during your flight. Oregano is a powerful germ fighter and will boost your immunity and resistance during your air travel.
  • Get Some Zzz’s – Not everyone can sleep during a flight but getting some well-deserved nap time during your trip will help to boost immunity and will offset some of the stress of the events leading up to your flight. For longer and oversea flights, try a melatonin spray or supplement to induce a deeper sleep and to assist with jet lag.
  • Meditate – Flights are an awesome place to meditate. Use a headset, put on soothing music, close your eyes, and focus on your breath. You can also use this time to visualize some of your goals and dreams spending time “living as if” those events have already come to fruition. A positive mindset and relaxation has been proven to boost your immunity, lower stress levels, and bring an overall sense of wellbeing.
  • Drink Water – Another important way to rinse toxins and germs from your system is to drink a lot of water during your flight. Most people tend to get dehydrated during their travels so it’s important to drink extra liquid even when you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Vitamin C & Zinc – Don’t forget to bring along chewable or powdered vitamin C along with Zinc lozenges to suck during the flight. Fueling your body with high vitamin and mineral content can help your cells to fight off possible invasion by lurking bugs.
  • Take Regular Stretch Breaks – Even though the person next to you may not approve, it is a good idea to get out of your seat to stretch and move your legs frequently during a long flight. This helps you to avoid circulation issues and the potential for blood clots. Regular movement will also help you to feel more awake and alert once the flight is over.

 

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!

Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of my FAVORITE recipes! It’s simple, delicious, and so nutritious. While squash is normally served in the fall and winter, why not enjoy this comfort food all year round and reap the amazing health benefits including high levels of Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Minerals, Anti-Inflammatory Properties, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and Phytonutrients.

INGREDIENTS
(Organic Whenever Possible)
1 Whole Sweet Onion
1 Medium Sized Butternut Squash
6 Cups of Vegetarian or Chicken Stock
2 Tbsp Vegan Butter
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tsp Sea Salt
2 Tsp Coarse Ground Pepper
1/4 Cup of Pure Maple Syrup
2 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Cup of Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds
1/4 Cup of Coconut Cream
– Additional Spices if Desired Including Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Curry, Ginger & Garlic Powder.

DIRECTIONS
– Peel squash, remove seeds, and cut into chunks.
– Peel onion and cut into small pieces
– Sauté onions on medium heat with butter and olive oil until transparent (approx. 5 minutes)
– Lower heat and add 6 cups of broth along with the squash.
– Add spices of your choice
– Bring to a boil and then simmer for approximately 15 minutes or until the squash is tender
– Mix in Maple Syrup
– Toast pumpkin or sunflower seeds in a non-oiled frying pan over medium heat until golden brown
– Put soup ingredients into a blender or Vitamix and blend until it becomes a smooth puree
– Pour into bowls, top with a dollop of coconut cream, toasted seeds, and a sprinkle of your choice of spices