It is hardly news to hear that vegetables can help protect against cancer. But researchers at the University of Arizona have come up with an interesting new twist on this advice. Instead of warning people to eat their broccoli, they have put it in a cream to smear on the skin. Sulforaphane, an active compound in broccoli, slows the cancer-causing pathways in cells and kicks chemoprotective genes into gear. The research to determine if sulforaphane will protect skin from ultraviolet radiation is ongoing.
There is also some fascinating earlier research suggesting that diet can also help protect against sunburn and its carcinogenic consequences. Foods as varied as dark chocolate and tomatoes have been shown to offer protection.