Mon, Aug 05, 2019 - Page 2 News List

The right diet can mitigate tanning effects: nutritionist

By Hsieh Chieh-yu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A woman, surnamed Wu, displays her severely tanned hands at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Nantou Hospital in Nantou City on Saturday.

Photo: Hsieh Chieh-yu, Taipei Times

With the right diet, severe tanning can be mitigated, said Huang Shu-min (黃淑敏), a nutritionist at the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Nantou Hospital.

Huang said that a 27-year-old woman had recently visited the hospital for severely tanned skin — the result of a three-day trip to Pingtung County’s Siaoliouciou Island (小琉球) — saying that it would not go away.

During the summer vacation, people should apply sunscreen whenever outdoors, and maintain a diet rich in vitamins A, D, C and E, Huang said.

Vitamin A should help prevent skin damage and dehydration so that the skin does not become rough, she said.

Animal-based sources of vitamin A include dairy products, eggs or livers, Huang said.

Carrots, radishes, spinach, cauliflowers, asparagus, pumpkins and mangoes are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, she said.

Vitamin D helps strengthen blood vessel cells, making them more supple, Huang said, adding that egg yolks, dairy products, salmon, sardines, cod liver oil, and cow, pig and chicken livers are all rich in vitamin D.

Vitamin C helps provide collagen, helps maintain the suppleness of blood vessels and helps prevent damage from UV rays, she said, adding that dark-green vegetables are richest in vitamin C, while citrus are the most vitamin C-rich fruits.

As for vitamin E, it protects fatty acids and proteins from oxidation, and prevents dry skin, Huang said.

The best sources of vitamin E are soybean oil and wheat germ oil, but almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds and walnuts are also rich in the vitamin, she said.

Huang also suggested a moderate intake of the B complex vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12, as they help keep skin cells healthy and moisturized, and reverse the effects of tanning.

B complex vitamins are most often found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, meat and soy, she added.

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