The best 100-calorie splurge to protect your skin may be a little candy indulgence that acts like built-in sunscreen: dark chocolate.
Young lovely lady applying moisturizer to her face after shower
Just remember to make sure the dark chocolate is raw or cold pressed and contains upwards of 70% cacao or it loses its antioxidants and nutrient density!
In a recent study, people who snacked on a tiny bit — just 100 calories — of flavonoid-rich dark chocolate every day seemed to be more protected from ultraviolet (UV) radiation by the end of the 12-week study.
Cacao’s Tough Side
To measure the impact that chocolate had on skin’s vulnerability to UV, researchers noted how long it took people’s skin to burn from UV exposure both before and after the chocolate test period. And after the 12 weeks of chocolate, people appeared to need twice as much UV exposure to get sunburn compared with how long it took at the beginning of the experiment.
Researchers suspect that eating dark chocolate may help protect skin thanks to healthy compounds in the sweet stuff — like epicatechins, catechins, procyanidins, and other flavonoids. These healthful compounds may boost circulation in small capillaries in the skin, making skin cells healthier and keeping them cooler. These compounds also act like antioxidants, guarding against damage from the sun’s harmful rays.
Chocolate squares stacked
Be Skin Savvy
Choose a dark chocolate to nibble— one that contains at least 70% cacao, because cacao is the stuff that has all those helpful flavonoids.
Don’t eat too much, or you’ll end up saving your skin at the expense of your waist.
Eating a bit of dark chocolate is not a replacement for smart skin protection. It’s merely an add-on step you can take in addition to using sunscreen, covering up, and staying out of the sun during peak UV hours.
I just love the words that Nadine from Living Libation uses. Here is a passage taken from her article, “Wise Interaction with the Sun.”
Upon the altar of sunshine, what we ingest determines how our skin responds to sunlight.
Skin cells must be strengthened and nourished internally with real food and water to receive the full blessing of interacting with the sun. Well-nourished skin responds better to sunlight, and sun-ripened food is more nutritious. We can create an internal SPF with an antioxidant-rich rainbow diet of sun-grown Super Power Foods, herbs, and luscious fats brimming with nutrients — all contributing to our internal sunscreen.
Summer is a great time to indulge in sun-ripened fruit, vegetables, and herbs that build an internal SPF. Take tomatoes, for example; researchers in the UK have demonstrated a 30% increase in sun protection after eating a tomato-rich diet. 16mg of lycopene, the red antioxidant found in tomatoes, seems to be the key. Other SPF foods include: watermelon, green tea, turmeric, red, green, and yellow peppers, watermelon, and berries.
Also, save room for chocolate! Pure, unprocessed, and unadulterated chocolate has 4 times the amount of phenols and catechins as teas, and these compounds protect the skin against sunburn.
Many of the skin issues that are called “sun damage” are really the result of malnutrition. The recipe for wrinkles and dark spots is our current standard diet of processed food produced in the shadows of pesticides and factory farming. The trans fats, plasticizers, bromide, formaldehyde, coal tar derivatives, color and flavor additives, and fluoride, commonly found in processed foods create reactions in our bodies that trigger collagen breakdown, inflammation, age spots, and hyper-pigmentation. The rampant use of polyunsaturated-fatty-acids found in every processed food item impairs intercellular-communication, suppresses immune functions, damages our DNA, and on top of all of that, is linked to wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
This is the difference between cooking with PAM or coconut oil. Organic healthy fats and essential fatty acids, direly depleted in the North American diet, are really needed to amplify the benefits of the sun’s rays. Cold-water fish, meat and dairy from pasture-raised animals, and nuts, as well as coconut and olive oils are beautiful sources of dietary fats.
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Enjoy your indulgence,
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