Did you know that certain foods can actually increase your skin’s natural ability to protect itself from the sun? That’s right, slathering on the SPF 55 is not the only way to protect your body from damage caused by the sun.
Foods for Sun Protection
Below you will find the top 10 foods that will provide you with a natural way of internally increasing your sun protection.
A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology showed an increase protection against sunburn in female test subjects that consumed tomato paste combined with olive oil every day for 3 months. This natural sun protection likely comes from the lycopene found in tomatoes.
Many forms of ancient and traditional medicine have incorporated turmeric due to its potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some preliminary studies have shown that turmeric can protect the epidermal cells from UVB radiation damage.
3. Flax Seed
You have probably heard before how great omega-3 fatty acids are for you, but you may not realize that they also provide natural sun protection. The omega-3s found in flax seeds can protect you from sunburn and actually fight against skin cancer (though the sun alone does not cause it). Flax seeds are easy to incorporate into your diet: just snack on a handful, throw some into your oatmeal, or add them to your smoothie.
Everyone knows that carrots promote healthy skin, but did you know that they also can help prevent and reverse damage done to the skin by the sun? Try to include carrots into your diet every day for the most noticeable and beneficial effects.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Just another reason to devour those sweet potato fries: sweet potatoes are also rich in beta-carotene (like carrots) that protects the skin from sun damage.
6. Dark, Rich Vegetables
Vegetables with deep, dark colors provide a variety of benefits to the skin and your health overall. Whatever veggies you opt for, try to find the ones that have the deepest color (e.g. the darkest eggplant, the reddest tomatoes, etc.).
The epitome of summertime goodness and a delicious snack, watermelon offers your skin extra protection against the sun. The lycopene in watermelon, also found in tomatoes, can help prevent sunburn.
8. Strawberries, Kiwis, and Oranges
While pretty much all fruit is good for you, these three in particular bolster your body’s natural defences against the harmful rays of the sun. Being rich in vitamin C, these fruits help destroy free radicals in the body that are a result of sun exposure. This can help prevent cancer as well as premature aging of the skin.
Almonds are rich in vitamin E, which is a powerful natural protectant against UV rays. Try adding some to your salad or oatmeal for a nice healthy crunch. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source of vitamin E.
Perhaps there is some truth to the old saying that “an apple a day will keep the doctor away.” Apple peels especially are rich in triterpenoids, which have actually been proven to kill cancer cells in lab tests. Eating apples regularly can protect you from skin cancer, as well as other types of the disease.
Eating a diet rich in the foods mentioned above can add serious protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays. This is not just a quick fix, but should be incorporated into your diet every day to protect your delicate skin from harmful sun rays, premature aging, and other conditions. Even if you don’t spend much time outside at all, sitting near a window or driving in your car can leave you exposed to the sun. Add these items to your life on a regular basis to help your body protect itself.