Why You Should Protect Your Skin and How to Do It

Your skin—it protects you, so protect it. With summer just around the corner, you’ll want to do everything under the sun (wearing a big hat, of course) to shield your skin from the harsh elements. With a little preventative care and some helpful habits, you can safeguard your skin from damage, keeping it healthy and looking and feeling great for years to come.

There’s no doubt about it, when it comes to getting your vitamin D fix, nothing quite compares to the sun. But as with everything in life, a little too much of a good thing, can be…well, not so good.

The sun produces two kinds of skin-ravaging rays—ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB). While both of the terrible twins can cause cancer, UVA can reduce the elasticity of your skin, cause wrinkles and liver spots, with UVB doing its own number on your skin, causing sunburn and dryness.

Sun damage can creep up on you. Over time, prolonged exposure can wreak havoc on your skin that can not only create noticeable changes to the skin, but also lead to serious and deadly diseases.

What can you do to protect your skin from the sun?

It’s never too late to jump on the skin-protecting bandwagon. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to guard against the damaging effects of the sun. Some of the proactive tips you can do include:

  • Cover up with clothes that have an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF)

  • Wear a wide-brim hat to protect your head, face, and neck

  • Sport sunglasses that protect against UV light

  • Limit your sun exposure time when the sun is at its strongest, between 11am and 3pm

  • Slather on that sunscreen and reapply every two hours

  • Keep tabs on the side effects of any medications you are taking that may increase your sensitivity to sunlight

Take Reishi Mushrooms

Dubbed the “Mushroom of Immortality,” reishi (or Ganoderma lucidum for all you lovers of Latin out there) has been revered for thousands of years by Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners. This miraculous mushroom is an adaptogen—a fancy way of saying that it can help you adapt to stressors, bringing your body back into balance.


Living is not easy work. Pollutants, toxins, infections, and even just living (breathing and moving) causes cellular damage. Our bodies are constantly working to mend this damage, but over time, the amount of new cellular injury exceeds the amount of repair.

Reishi can help in a few ways. For one, red reishi is jam-packed with antioxidants, helping to reverse some of the oxidative stress that injured the cells in the first place. By taking this mighty mushroom, you can help protect your body from some of the harmful effects of free radicals that contribute to aging and skin damage.

Reishi also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it can help reduce skin-inflammation issues, including acne, wounds, blemishes, and swelling.

Additionally, reishi contains compounds that can help boost the immune system, helping to prevent cancer cell growth, while other compounds support the liver, playing an important role in detoxification.

While you can’t actually slow down the hands of time or stop aging, reishi has cell-protective benefits that can contribute to smooth, radiant-looking, and—most importantly—healthy skin.

Taking Japanese red reishi mushroom capsules is just one more way to protect your skin. You might also consider Mitsuwa’s reishi body cream to keep your skin moisturized and looking healthy

The Okinawan Diet: Japan’s Answer to The Fountain of Youth

Did you know that the life expectancy of Okinawan citizens is longer than anywhere else in the world? It’s true. A typical Okinawan can live well beyond the age of 100, somehow miraculously staving off age-related illnesses like heart disease, cancer, and dementia. So just what is their secret to longevity? Researchers believe it might be a number of key factors, including genetics, daily exercise, and a stress-less lifestyle. But what these Okinawans regularly eat may play the most important role of all.

One key to the Okinawan diet is its use of “functional foods.” A functional food is a food that provides additional health benefits than just the basic nutritional requirements. Below are some of the many notable foods that have helped Okinawan residents live longer and healthier lives.

Soy and Other Legumes

Okinawans eat about 3 ounces of tofu each day. Soy beans and other legumes, like white, red, and black beans, are full of flavonoids—plant compounds that help protect cells from harmful free radicals. Researchers believe it might be the reason why the rates of breast and prostate cancer are so low in Okinawa.

Sweet Potatoes, Leafy Greens, and Shiitake Mushrooms

Vegies are eaten in abundance on the island of Okinawa, including sweet potatoes, leafy greens, and Shiitake mushrooms. Sweet potatoes are not only bursting in antioxidants, they also are high in vitamins A, C, E, and B6, as well as potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, calcium, and fiber. Leafy greens also contain cell-protecting antioxidants and phytochemicals—compounds that help the body fight against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Shiitake mushrooms are rich in protein, fiber, antioxidants, vitamins A, niacin, B12, C, and D.

Fish and Other Foods Rich in Omega-3

Okinawans consume plenty of fish and other foods that are high in good fats. Eating foods rich in omega-3 will help promote a healthy cardiovascular system, maintain proper joint function, and decrease inflammation. Be sure to include three servings of salmon or other fatty fish, walnuts, and ground flaxseed into your diet every day.

Calcium-Rich Foods

Although Okinawans consume very little in the way of dairy, they get ample amounts of calcium from seaweed, small fish, and vegetables. Dark leafy greens (like kale, collards, and chard), almonds, oranges, and tofu are all great sources of calcium, helping to keep your bones healthy and strong.

Beyond Food Specifics

One of the common traits found in diets from various places with long living residents is a focus on local, whole foods, and a limited consumption of processed foods, artificial additives, and sugar. Another possible way to live longer is calorie restriction. The Okinawans have an expression for this, “hara hachi bu,” which means “eat until you are 8/10ths full.”

Japanese red reishi mushrooms may also help your longevity quest. These powerful mushrooms are very strong antioxidants, helping to protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals that contribute to aging and disease. Because red reishi has a hard shell that needs to be broken down to access the nutrients, capsules of a high quality reishi extract are your best and easiest way to stave off disease in your search for the fountain of youth.