This post was originally published on June 20, 2014 and updated on June 8, 2020.

Some people tan easily in the sun, others burn. But there’s no question that the sun’s rays can damage our DNA and cause premature aging. This is another reason to start cooking with Malaysian palm oil. Your diet may be as important as the SPF of your sunscreen!

Michiaki Murakoshi, PhD, director, Life Science Research Laboratories, has conducted a significant amount of research on the effects of diet on cancer risk. He’s found that the carotenoids found in palm oil may be especially helpful in avoiding UV radiation damage. Non-GMO Malaysian palm fruit oil is richer in alpha- and beta-carotenes than even carrots or tomatoes, and its nutrients are easily absorbed by the body.

While presenting his findings in Malaysia, Murakoshi explained that palm fruit carotenoids (PFC) are chemoprotective, meaning that they boost healthy tissue’s ability to protect itself from harmful toxins. He went so far as to conclude that PFC is, “More effective than beta-carotene as an antioxidant, and PFK intake would be useful for UV skin protection.”

His presentation included a slide with a woman’s face under three conditions: natural, tanned and after increasing her carotenoid intake. Participants agreed that her skin after heightened carotenoid consumption looked healthiest.

Murakoshi has further noted that, “dietary intake of both total carotenoids or fruits and vegetables, as well as elevated blood levels of beta-carotene, are consistently associated with reduced cancer risk. In addition to our skin, there is ongoing research investigating palm fruit oil carotenoids’ effects on colon cancer and lung cancer.

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So it seems that a healthy diet really can help to protect your appearance from the inside out. So this summer as you pack your picnics before heading out to the lake or ocean, be sure to include plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as dishes prepared with Malaysian red palm oil.

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