Welcome summer! The kids are out of school, everyone is outside and it's time to take a well-deserved vacation. The bright, hot summer sunshine can be a beautiful thing and a not so nice thing.
What's good about sun exposure? In appropriate and measured doses it has a number of health benefits. Sunlight helps synchronize the hormonal rhythms of your body and enhances our mood and energy. UVB rays produce Vitamin D which is important for maintaining optimal health. UVB also has been associated with cancer prevention and as an important treatment for various skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and vitiligo. Many experts now agree that the importance of daily exposure shouldn't be underestimated. All in moderation. But since UVB rays can burn your skin and UVA rays can cause skin damage, wrinkling, age spots and premature aging, the best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light, or broad-spectrum.
We all know to use sunscreens daily while we're at the beach, the pool or just running errands and chauffeuring the kids around. But did you know that both wine and chocolate offer UV protection? Not by slathering them on your skin, but by the simple enjoyment of them. Now there's another reason not to feel guilty! (just no driving after you've had wine)
Did you know that...?
Eating dark chocolate and drinking red wine can help prevent UV damage
Multiple studies have shown that eating dark chocolate regularly may significantly protect skin from UV damage - skin reddened less when exposed to UV light
One study showed that when dark chocolate was regularly consumed for a longer period of time, the level of UV protection increased and that skin texture and hydration was greatly improved
Increased UV protection can be attributed to naturally-occurring antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecules in chocolate and red wine called polyphenols, flavonoids and flavanols
Polyphenols, flavonoids and flavonols are found naturally in plants and fruits, including cacao (cocoa) and red wine
Red wine, made with the dark skin and seeds of grapes, is rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that includes resveratrol, also shown to have very powerful cancer-fighting properties
Flavonoids can actually stop the chemical reaction that causes skin cells to die, and thus causes skin damage. They may also help fight a wide array of conditions – including diabetes, strokes and heart disease
Flavonols can relax your blood vessels, thin your blood and lower your blood-pressure numbers naturally
To get the UV benefits of chocolate, make sure to get dark chocolate that’s at least 70% cocoa, which will be stated on the package label
But this great news doesn't mean you should skip your sunscreen altogether, or even cut back. Just sit back and enjoy more of the pleasures that wine and chocolate can bring! A piece of 70% + dark chocolate and a glass of red wine regularly does your body good!
~Lisa Mecray Rogers, award-winning Master Chocolatier and Founder of Luxx Chocolat® xquisite artisan chocolate, ChocoVin Chocolate & Wine Tastings® and Luxx Academy du Chocolat offering classes with adults in mind, Ridgewood resident, recognized as one of 2014 and 2013 Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America. Luxx Chocolat offers unique handcrafted works of art. Nothing artificial, no preservatives, not mass produced.