Nancy Dell: Foods that help protect skin; Foods that affect behavior


1. I use sunscreen to protect my skin but which foods can also help?
Mia, Internet

The foods you eat can protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays…cancer, sunburn and wrinkles. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition you can decrease your risk of getting sunburn 40 percent by eating foods high in a compound called Lycopene.

Lycopene makes plants red so you find it in tomatoes, watermelon and red peppers. Orange foods high in betacarotene also help. Experts recommend you eat at least 2 servings a day of foods like carrots, cantaloupe, and sweet potato.

Dark leafy greens like kale and spinach are also high in betacarotene. A compound in soy foods can reduce the wrinkling of the skin from the sun. Experts say the reason people in Asia do not wrinkle until later in life is because they eat soy foods. You could eat soy milk, tofu, edammame, and roasted soy nuts. The vitamin E in nuts and seeds also protect your skin.

2. Are there foods besides sugar that affect a person’s behavior?
Mike, Internet

A new study at the University of Pennsylvania shows omega-3 fats can improve the behavior of people who tend to be criminal or anti-social.

The researchers gave children aged 8 to 16 supplements of omega-3 fats for 6 months. During that time the number of emotional outbursts and emotional problems decreased.

The brain is 90 percent fat. Eating healthy fats is critical to the brain’s function. Good food sources of omega-3 fats are fish and walnuts.

 

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