New research out of the University of Paris-Saclay is offering a simple but effective tip to help lower your risk of skin cancer: follow the Mediterranean diet.
This way of eating, inspired by the foods of Greece, Italy, and other Mediterranean countries, is already known to benefit heart health. Now it seems it might also keep skin cancer at bay.
Skin cancer is a big deal. It can cause some really serious health problems if it’s not caught early and treated.
A lot of times, skin cancer is due to too much time in the sun without proper protection like sunscreen. But guess what? Your diet can play a role too.
What Did the Study Find?
Scientists in France looked at the eating habits of nearly 100,000 women who were between 40 and 65 years old. They used a special scoring system to figure out how closely these women followed a Mediterranean diet.
This diet is rich in foods like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and olive oil, and it keeps away from red meat, processed foods, and too much sugar.
After keeping tabs on these women for a while, the scientists found some good news. Those who ate more like the Mediterranean diet had a lower chance of getting skin cancer.
In fact, they were less likely to develop melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, two common types of skin cancer. The diet didn’t seem to affect another kind of skin cancer, squamous cell carcinomas, as much.
A Tip for Healthy Living
Switching to a Mediterranean diet could be an easy way to reduce the risk of skin cancer, on top of other good-for-you stuff like lowering the risk of heart disease.
But remember, this study only looked at women in France, so we need more research to be totally sure.
How to Protect Your Skin
Just eating healthy isn’t enough. It’s important to protect your skin from too much sun:
Find Shade: The sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Stay in the shade during those times.
Dress Right: Wear a hat with a wide brim and long-sleeve shirts to cover your skin.
Use Sunscreen: Pick a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 and apply it on all your exposed skin. Don’t forget to put more on if you sweat or swim.
No Tanning Beds: They might make you look tan, but they also increase your risk of skin cancer.
Check Your Skin: Look at your skin often to check for new moles or changes in old ones. If something seems off, see a doctor.
If you’re keen on knowing more about skin health, you might find it interesting that eating fish could be linked to a higher risk of skin cancer, while Vitamin B3 could help prevent some types.
Also, low-carb diets might increase the risk of other types of cancer, but taking vitamin D supplements could actually lower the chance of dying from cancer.
Eating well and protecting your skin are simple ways to stay healthy. So the next time you’re planning your meal or heading out in the sun, remember these tips.
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