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13 Ways to Prevent Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Uncontrolled cases can cause blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and other serious conditions.

Before diabetes is diagnosed, there is a period where blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. This is known as prediabetes.

It’s estimated that up to 70% of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, progressing from prediabetes to diabetes isn’t inevitable (1).

Although there are certain factors you can’t change — such as your genes, age or past behaviors — there are many actions you can take to reduce the risk of diabetes.

Here are 13 ways to avoid getting diabetes.

1. Cut Sugar and Refined Carbs From Your Diet

Eating sugary foods and refined carbs can put at-risk individuals on the fast track to developing diabetes.

Your body rapidly breaks these foods down into small sugar molecules, which are absorbed into your bloodstream.

The resulting rise in blood sugar stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps sugar get out of the bloodstream and into your body’s cells.

In people with prediabetes, the body’s cells are resistant to insulin’s action, so sugar remains high in the blood. To compensate, the pancreas produces more insulin, attempting to bring blood sugar down to a healthy level.

Over time, this can lead to progressively higher blood sugar and insulin levels, until the condition eventually turns into type 2 diabetes.

Many studies have shown a link between the frequent consumption of sugar or refined carbs and the risk of diabetes. What’s more, replacing them with foods that have less of an effect on blood sugar may help reduce your risk.

A detailed analysis of 37 studies found that people with the highest intakes of fast-digesting carbs were 40% more likely to develop diabetes than those with the lowest intakes (7).

Summary: Eating foods high in refined carbs and sugar increases blood sugar and insulin levels, which may lead to diabetes over time. Avoiding these foods may help reduce your risk.

2. Work Out Regularly

Performing physical activity on a regular basis may help prevent diabetes.

Exercise increases the insulin sensitivity of your cells. So when you exercise, less insulin is required to keep your blood sugar levels under control.

One study in people with prediabetes found that moderate-intensity exercise increased insulin sensitivity by 51% and high-intensity exercise increased it by 85%. However, this effect only occurred on workout days.

Many types of physical activity have been shown to reduce insulin resistance and blood sugar in overweight, obese and prediabetic adults. These include aerobic exercise, high-intensity interval training and strength training .

Working out more frequently seems to lead to improvements in insulin response and function. One study in people at risk of diabetes found that burning more than 2,000 calories weekly via exercise was required to achieve these benefits.

Therefore, it’s best to choose physical activity that you enjoy, can engage in regularly and feel you can stick with long-term.

Summary: Performing physical activity on a regular basis can increase insulin secretion and sensitivity, which may help prevent the progression from prediabetes to diabetes.

3. Drink Water as Your Primary Beverage

Water is by far the most natural beverage you can drink.

What’s more, sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other questionable ingredients.

Sugary beverages like soda and punch have been linked to an increased risk of both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).

LADA is a form of type 1 diabetes that occurs in people over 18 years of age. Unlike the acute symptoms seen with type 1 diabetes in childhood, LADA develops slowly, requiring more treatment as the disease progresses.

One large observational study looked at the diabetes risk of 2,800 people.

Those who consumed more than two servings of sugar-sweetened beverages per day had a 99% increased risk of developing LADA and a 20% increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Researchers of one study on the effects of sweet drinks on diabetes stated that neither artificially sweetened beverages nor fruit juice were good beverages for diabetes prevention.

By contrast, consuming water may provide benefits. Some studies have found that increased water consumption may lead to better blood sugar control and insulin response.

One 24-week study showed that overweight adults who replaced diet sodas with water while following a weight loss program experienced a decrease in insulin resistance and lower fasting blood sugar and insulin levels.

Summary: Drinking water instead of other beverages may help control blood sugar and insulin levels, thereby reducing the risk of diabetes.

4. Lose Weight If You’re Overweight or Obese

Although not everyone who develops type 2 diabetes is overweight or obese, the majority are.

What’s more, those with prediabetes tend to carry excess weight in their midsection and around abdominal organs like the liver. This is known as visceral fat.

Excess visceral fat promotes inflammation and insulin resistance, which significantly increase the risk of diabetes .

Although losing even a small amount of weight can help reduce this risk, studies show that the more you lose, the more benefits you’ll experience .

One study of more than 1,000 people with prediabetes found that for every kilogram (2.2 lbs) of weight participants lost, their risk of diabetes reduced by 16%, up to a maximum reduction of 96% .

There are many healthy options for losing weight, including low-carb, Mediterranean, paleo and vegetarian diets. However, choosing a way of eating you can stick with long-term is key to helping you maintain the weight loss.

One study found that obese people whose blood sugar and insulin levels decreased after losing weight experienced elevations in these values after gaining back all or a portion of the weight they lost .

Summary: Carrying excess weight, particularly in the abdominal area, increases the likelihood of developing diabetes. Losing weight may significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.

5. Quit Smoking

Smoking has been shown to cause or contribute to many serious health conditions, including heart disease, emphysema and cancers of the lung, breast, prostate and digestive tract.

There’s also research linking smoking and second-hand smoke exposure to type 2 diabetes.

In an analysis of several studies totaling over one million people, smoking was found to increase the risk of diabetes by 44% in average smokers and 61% in people who smoked more than 20 cigarettes daily .

One study followed the risk of diabetes in middle-aged male smokers after they quit. After five years their risk had reduced by 13%, and after 20 years they had the same risk as people who had never smoked .

Researchers stated that even though many of the men gained weight after quitting, after several smoke-free years, their risk of diabetes was lower than if they’d continued smoking.

Summary: Smoking is strongly linked to the risk of diabetes, especially in heavy smokers. Quitting has been shown to reduce this risk over time.

6. Follow a Very-Low-Carb Diet

Following a ketogenic or very-low-carb diet can help you avoid diabetes.

Although there are a number of ways of eating that promote weight loss, very-low-carb diets have strong evidence behind them.

They have consistently been shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce other diabetes risk factors .

In a 12-week study, prediabetic individuals consumed either a low-fat or low-carb diet. Blood sugar dropped by 12% and insulin dropped by 50% in the low-carb group.

In the low-fat group, meanwhile, blood sugar dropped by only 1% and insulin dropped by 19%. Thus, the low-carb diet had better results on both counts.

If you minimize your carb intake, your blood sugar levels won’t rise very much after you eat. Therefore, your body needs less insulin to maintain your blood sugar within healthy levels.

What’s more, very-low-carb or ketogenic diets may also reduce fasting blood sugar.

In a study of obese men with prediabetes who followed a ketogenic diet, average fasting blood sugar decreased from 118 to 92 mg/dl, which is within the normal range. Participants also lost weight and improved several other health markers.

Summary: Following a ketogenic or very-low-carb diet can help keep blood sugar and insulin levels under control, which may protect against diabetes.

7. Watch Portion Sizes

Whether or not you decide to follow a low-carb diet, it’s important to avoid large portions of food to reduce the risk of diabetes, especially if you are overweight.

Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes.

On the other hand, decreasing portion sizes may help prevent this type of response.

A two-year study in prediabetic men found that those who reduced food portion sizes and practiced other healthful nutrition behaviors had a 46% lower risk of developing diabetes than the men who made no lifestyle changes .

Another study looking at weight loss methods in people with prediabetes reported that the group practicing portion control lowered their blood sugar and insulin levels significantly after 12 weeks.

Summary: Avoiding large portion sizes can help reduce insulin and blood sugar levels and decrease the risk of diabetes.

8. Avoid Sedentary Behaviors

It’s important to avoid being sedentary if you want to prevent diabetes.

If you get no or very little physical activity, and you sit during most of your day, then you lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Observational studies have shown a consistent link between sedentary behavior and the risk of diabetes .

A large analysis of 47 studies found that people who spent the highest amount of time per day engaged in sedentary behavior had a 91% increased risk of developing diabetes.

Changing sedentary behavior can be as simple as standing up from your desk and walking around for a few minutes every hour.

Unfortunately, it can be hard to reverse firmly entrenched habits.

One study gave young adults at risk of diabetes a 12-month program designed to change sedentary behavior. Sadly, after the program ended, the researchers found that participants hadn’t reduced how much time they sat .

Set realistic and achievable goals, such as standing while talking on the phone or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Committing to these easy, concrete actions may be the best way to reverse sedentary tendencies.

Summary: Avoiding sedentary behaviors like excessive sitting has been shown to reduce your risk of getting diabetes.

9. Eat a High-Fiber Diet

Getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management.

Studies in obese, elderly and prediabetic individuals have shown that it helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels low (.

Fiber can be divided into two broad categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water, whereas insoluble fiber does not.

In the digestive tract, soluble fiber and water form a gel that slows down the rate at which food is absorbed. This leads to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels

However, insoluble fiber has also been linked to reductions in blood sugar levels and a decreased risk of diabetes, although exactly how it works is not clear .

Most unprocessed plant foods contain fiber, although some have more than others. Check out this list of 22 high-fiber foods for many excellent sources of fiber.

Summary: Consuming a good fiber source at each meal can help prevent spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels, which may help reduce your risk of developing diabetes.

10. Optimize Vitamin D Levels

Vitamin D is important for blood sugar control.

Indeed, studies have found that people who don’t get enough vitamin D, or whose blood levels are too low, have a greater risk of all types of diabetes .

Most health organizations recommend maintaining a vitamin D blood level of at least 30 ng/ml (75 nmol/l).

One study found that people with the highest blood levels of vitamin D were 43% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest blood levels.

Another observational study looked at Finnish children who received supplements containing adequate levels of vitamin D.

Children who took the vitamin D supplements had a 78% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes than children who received less than the recommended amount of vitamin D .

Controlled studies have shown that when people who are deficient take vitamin D supplements, the function of their insulin-producing cells improves, their blood sugar levels normalize and their risk of diabetes reduces significantly (.

Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and cod liver oil. In addition, sun exposure can increase vitamin D levels in the blood.

However, for many people, supplementing with 2,000–4,000 IU of vitamin D daily may be necessary to achieve and maintain optimal levels.

Summary: Consuming foods high in vitamin D or taking supplements can help optimize vitamin D blood levels, which can reduce your risk of diabetes.

11. Minimize Your Intake of Processed Foods

One clear step you can take to improve your health is to minimize your consumption of processed foods.

They’re linked to all sorts of health problems, including heart disease, obesity and diabetes.

Studies suggest that cutting back on packaged foods that are high in vegetable oils, refined grains and additives may help reduce the risk of diabetes.

This may be partly due to the protective effects of whole foods like nuts, vegetables, fruits and other plant foods.

One study found that poor-quality diets that were high in processed foods increased the risk of diabetes by 30%. However, including nutritious whole foods helped reduce this risk.

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A Cure For Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a more serious form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that usually develops in the lowest parts of the small and large intestines but can also occur elsewhere in the digestive tract. Symptoms include loss of appetite, chronic diarrhea, cramping, pain in the abdomen, and weight loss. Stress can worsen symptoms but doesn’t cause the disease.

Although we don’t know all the factors that lead to the development of Crohn’s disease, a recently discovered gene may point the way to new treatments and even to a way to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place. The gene is linked to a cellular receptor for interleukin-23 (IL-23), a protein involved in immunity and the inflammatory process. New anti-inflammatory drugs in the pipeline may work for Crohn’s disease and for other forms of IBD as well, such as ulcerative colitis.

While Crohn’s disease can’t yet be cured, it can be managed successfully and can remain in remission for long periods of time. Conventional medicine treats it with a variety of drugs, nutritional supplements and, when necessary, surgery. My personal prefere nce is to first send patients with Crohn’s disease to practitioners of modern Chinese medicine, which includes acupuncture and herbal remedies in addition to dietary adjustment and, possibly, massage and energy work. I have seen some very good results from this approach. Ayurvedic medicine, radical dietary change, and long-term fasting (under supervision) can also be helpful. A high fiber diet may also provide a benefit, but during the active stages of the illness, raw fruits and vegetables and seeds and nuts will irritate the digestive system.

You can also try the following approaches, which may help bring the disease under control:

  • Avoid coffee, decaf, all other sources of caffeine and all stimulant drugs.
  • Avoid milk and all milk products.
  • Avoid products sweetened with sorbitol, xylitol, or other sugar alcohols.
  • Take slippery elm in the form of gruel: Combine one teaspoon of the powder with one teaspoon of sugar and two cups of boiling water. Stir well. Flavor with cinnamon and drink one or two cups twice a day.
  • IF cramping is a problem, take enteric-coated capsules of peppermint oil between meals to relieve the spasmodic component of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Practice breathing exercises for relaxation.
  • Because stress can worsen symptoms, take a course in biofeedback or experiment with hypnotherapy and guided imagery to use the mind/body connection to heal the gut.
  • Consider psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy to work on emotional conflicts that can exacerbate symptoms.
  • To address inflammation, increase your dietary omega-3 fatty acids by taking supplemental fish oil, start with one gram a day and increase slowly to two to four grams a day. watch for any increase in diarrhea, and cut back the dose if necessary.
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Here’s How To Actually Become A Faster Runner

So, you want to become a faster runner.

For lots of newish runners, the step right after “start running regularly” is “try running faster.” And it’s actually not as complicated as you might think.

To explain how everyday runners can do this safely and effectively, BuzzFeed Health reached out to Toni Carey, RRCA-certified running coach and co-founder of Black Girls RUN!, and Jason Fitzgerald, USATF-certified running coach, 2:39 marathoner, and founder of Strength Running. Here are their tips:

1. Get ready for your weekly running schedule to get a bit more structured.


As long as you run regularly and are injury-free, you’re ready to start getting faster, says Fitzgerald. The first step will be to get a bit more strategic about your training schedule. For example, you’ll start doing some targeted workouts and thinking more about intensity and recovery than simply piling on the miles.

Plan to run four to five times per week, says Fitzgerald. All of these runs should be done at an easy pace — like a 5 on a scale of 1-10. (Eventually you’ll make one of these runs a longer one and another one a speed workout — but more on that later.)

2. Find a 5K to train for.


“When you’re training for speed it always helps to have a goal in mind,” says Carey. It’ll give you a timeline to work with and a distance around which you’ll shape your workouts. And because 3.1 miles is so accessible to new runners and racers, there’s always a ton to choose from, says Fitzgerald.

If you absolutely don’t want to enter a 5K race, consider choosing another pace goal and target date (again, the 5K distance is considered a great introduction to pace training).

3. Do one long run every week.


Running longer builds your aerobic capacity, makes your cardiovascular system more efficient, and give your legs longer staying power, says Fitzgerald. And all of these are crucial for running faster. So, if you don’t already run a little longer one day of the week, now is the time to start.

Your longer run will be one of those three-to-five weekly runs that you do at an easy pace. To figure out what distance to start with, take an average run from your last few weeks of training and add 5-10 minutes to it. Depending on how your body is feeling, every couple of weeks you can add another 5-10 minutes.

4. Now you’re ready for some strides: 100-meter accelerations tacked on to the end of an easy run.


These are a great (not-too-intimidating) way to experience faster running before you transition to more formal speed workouts, according to Fitzgerald. They can also help beginners become more efficient runners.

Start with four strides at the end of your easy runs. To run a stride, start to jog and then gradually increase your pace until you’re running pretty much as fast as you can, and then gradually slow to a stop. Each stride should last 20-30 seconds total. After each stride, rest for 45-90 seconds.

5. Practice pushing yourself with fast finish workouts, where you end your run at a faster pace than it started.


From here on out, you’ll be doing one speed workout per week (replacing one of those weekly easy runs), and it all starts with fast finish runs.

To do a fast finish run, set out for the distance of a typical easy run — let’s say it’s five miles — and start out at your typical easy run pace. After the first two miles at your easy pace, do the last three miles faster — a 9.5-minute mile or 9-minute mile, for example. You can start doing these workouts after you’ve been doing strides for two to four weeks, says Fitzgerald.

Fast finish runs get your body used to pushing harder when you’re already tired, says Fitzgerald. Like other kinds of speedwork, they also let you practice one of the hardest parts of faster running — the mental discomfort of making yourself work harder.

6. Once you’ve been doing strides and fast finishes for a couple weeks, do a speed play workout that you customize for your pace and fitness level.


Fartlek — I know, I know, it’s hilarious — is a Swedish word meaning “speed play.” Fartlek workouts are great for runners who are new to speedwork because they don’t have a rigidly prescribed format — you customize them to your needs.

This fartlek workout is another of the once-weekly speed workouts. Depending on your fitness level, this might be six 30-second repeats with two minutes of easy jogging after each one. Or maybe it’s 10 one-minute repeats with three minutes of rest after each one. As your body adapts to running faster, the time you take to recover from each one should decrease gradually, says Carey.

Keep in mind that these shouldn’t be grueling or scary. And they should be pretty short: “Twenty minutes is all you need for your speedwork” in the beginning, says Carey. Speedwork is meant to give you a chance to practice running fast so that you can start getting used to the physiological and mental aspects of running harder, says Fitzgerald.

7. Now it’s time — bear with me — to learn about lactate threshold. Don’t be scared.


Lactate is released into your blood when you exercise really hard. It makes your legs burn and feel heavy. “Each runner’s individual lactate threshold represents the maximum amount of lactate they can process and clear from working muscles,” says Fitzgerald. And the amount of lactate you can clear informs how long you can run fast without having to stop because everything hurts.

So, if you can boost your lactate threshold, you’ll be able to run faster.

8. Start doing tempo runs to boost your lactate threshold.


Your tempo run should become your once-weekly speed workout after you’ve been doing fartleks once a week for two to four weeks.

To do a tempo run, warm up for about a mile, run for 15-25 minutes, and spend another mile cooling down with a jog. Your pace for that main block of running should be pretty challenging but still do-able — about an 8 on the 1-10 scale or, if you’re using a heart rate monitor, at about 85% to 90% of your maximum heart rate, says Fitzgerald.

He writes that this threshold pace “is the pace at which you’re producing the maximum amount of lactate that your body can clear from your muscles and blood stream.” By training at (or close to) this pace, you get more efficient at clearing lactate.

9. Add a bit of strength training to your week.


Strength training doesn’t just help make you faster and more powerful, it will change the way your body holds up during a race, says Carey. And as we’ve previously reported, it minimizes the risk of injury. She recommends spending time strengthening your lower body (hamstrings, quads, glutes) and your core.

And this doesn’t mean spending a ton of time pushing huge weights in the gym. Fitzgerald recommends this seven-minute bodyweight workout once or twice a week, and you can do it at home.

10. Give yourself some recovery runs as needed.


After a hard workout — whether it’s your speed workout or a long run that took a lot out of you — turn a regularly scheduled easy run into a recovery run. Fitzgerald says that these should be your slowest runs of the week and should be done at a “very comfortable” effort — about a 2 or 3 on that 1-10 scale. The goals for these runs are “active recovery, maintaining mileage, and [spending] time on your feet.”

11. Also, take some days of total rest.


“It’s hard for runners to sit on the couch, but your body absolutely needs to repair those muscles,” says Carey. Recovering fully after workouts is the only way to get fitter and faster, and this can only happen if you really let your body rest. Proper rest also minimizes the risk of overtraining and injury.

12. Make sure you’re fueling your body the right way.


You don’t have to follow a special diet or do anything super specific. You just want to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet of mostly whole foods, says Carey.

“Your body needs quality foods. So, whatever your dietary regimen is, make sure you’re getting vegetables, fruits, and adequate protein,” she says.

And as you start to exercise more and harder, you might want to learn a bit more about the role of carbs, fat, and protein in your diet, and think about timing your snacks and meals to benefit your performance.

13. Don’t forget to actually track everything, so you can see — and celebrate! — yourself getting faster.


Keep track of each workout — distance, time, pace, how it felt — so you can see what kind of progress you’re making over time. This will help you assess your training as you go. Carey says that for many people being able to look back at your progress can help motivate you to keep going when your can-do spirit lags.

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Top 5 health tips for women

Women need to take an extra step to take good care of their health as a lot of wear and tear takes place in their body. They face a number of things in their lives starting from menstrual cycles to pregnancy and even start facing calcium deficiency.

Here are a few tips for women to help them in maintaining the body well and stay fit. Just adapt these few tips and keep weakness and other health issues away!

1.Balanced diet


Make sure you consume different varieties of fruits, vegetables and meats, this would help in providing your body with all the different nutrients you need. Try in-taking lesser amount of processed foods and make sure you do have dairy products included in your diet for getting your dose of calcium, proteins and carbohydrates. Also, have all 3 meals every day and at the right time.

2. Work out


Exercise daily, it will help you in burning extra calories and keep your weight under control. It will enhance heart health and keep diseases such as diabetes away and also improve blood circulation. You could do aerobic exercises, yoga exercises or go swimming, jogging, cycling and so on.

3. Drink enough water

Refreshing after work out. Tired young man carrying towel on shoulders and drinking water while standing in gym

Water is really important for your health; it helps in better digestion, flushes out toxins, cleanses your organs, keeps migration and headaches away and keeps you hydrated.

4. Visit doctor often


Make sure you visit the doctors often for general check-ups; doing so would help in detecting if you are diagnosed with any ailments at an early stage and it can get cured. This would make sure you are fit and fine. You could also share any health issues you are suffering from and get the right advice.

5. Rest well


Make sure you get sufficient sleep everyday because your body needs it for functioning properly. Doing so would keep you fresh the next day. Also, make sure you stay relaxed and tension free as this would keep you mentally at peace and maintain your mental health.

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Top 5 Beauty & Skincare Tips During Winter

Winter brings drastic changes in the weather and a need for taking better care of one’s skin. Dry, cold air may affect the skin, making it lose moisture and become even more vulnerable to the elements. Here are some tips to keep skin moisturized throughout the winter season.

1. Opt for oil-based moisturizers.


Depending on one’s skin type, for winter, it’s best to go with oil-based moisturizers, because according to experts at WebMD, it provides a protective layer on the skin, making it retain more moisture compared to water-based counterparts. Make sure to select non-pore-clogging oils such as avocado oil, and primrose oil. Take a look at the packaging and look out for moisturizers that contain humectants, substances such as glycerine, sorbitol, and alpha-hydroxy acids that pack on the moisture in one’s skin.

2. Use hydrators.


In line with reading the packaging notes on moisturizers, check for labels that include glyceryl glucoside, a version of the humectant glycerin that takes moisture from the air and takes it deeper into the skin. Allure reports that selaginella lepidophylla is an extract that is a humectant and antioxidant that according to cosmetic chemist Ni’Kita Wilson, “constantly renews the skin, making cells more cohesive to prevent water from escaping.” Niacinamide is also great because according to cosmetic chemist Jim Hammer, “It strengthens the skin’s outer layer to prevent water loss and speeds up cell turnover.”

3. Moisten up the eyes.


Prevention reports that according to clinical professor of ophthalmology at New York University Dr. Marguerite McDonald, tear production slows down once a person hits 40 years of age, and menopausal women are more prone to dry eyes. She adds that some medications like hypertension drugs and cholesterol-lowering statins can also affect eye moisture, so make sure to have an air humidifier at home, and limit the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, which both dehydrates the body.

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4. Slap on some lip balm.


Chapped lips can be very painful especially when grabbing a bite. Lather on a good amount of lip balm with moisturizers to keep it from getting dry and chapped.

5. Wear sunscreen.


No matter how cloudy or cold it may be outside, it’s always better to lather on a broad-spectrum sunscreen that will protect the skin from both UVA and UVB rays, Huffington Post recommends. Use the ones with zinc oxide, as it repels the rays before they can enter the skin. Remember that sunscreen is always a good measure for any season.