If you want to prevent skin cancer and do more for yourself than just applying sunscreen with giant SPF, there is something you can do. Eat more vitamin A-rich foods.
According to new research done on over 125,000 Americans, people who eat more foods rich in vitamin A have a 15 percent lower risk of having skin cancer. "These findings just add another reason to have a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables. Vitamin A from plant sources is safe," said Eunyoung Cho, the study's senior author. She is an associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University.
But which are the healthy sources of vitamin A we can take advantage of for the prevention of skin cancer? Sweet potatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, red bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, dairy products, fish and meat, especially liver.
You need to remember something though. Vitamin A is fat-soluble, which means that it can gather in the fat deposits of your body. Don't ingest large quantities of it (especially when it comes to dietary supplements) because it could reach an unsafe level for your health.
Doesn't completely prevent skin cancer
One more important thing to keep in mind: you should never rely completely on just vitamin A to help prevent skin cancer. Eating foods rich in vitamin A is just an extra shield or protection measure. It is not time to give up on sunscreen. As this song goes:
You still need to look after your skin and use high SPF lotions.
The research published in JAMA Dermatology took into account data from over 75,000 women and 50,000 men, with an average age of 50 years. The study volunteers offered information about their general diet and the supplements they use. People with high levels of vitamin A were usually older, did more exercise and had lower chances of consuming alcohol or caffeine.