While many of us are religious in our application and reapplication of the oh-so-important sunblock, people often forget that a lot of what goes into your body is even more critical for protecting your skin then what goes on top of it. Enjoy these foods to protect your skin from the sun and enjoy a multitude of other health benefits.
A note on sun protection: Protecting your skin from the sun is a crucial step towards preserving your youthful glow, reducing wrinkles, as well as preventing sunspots, discoloration, and skin cancer. Cover up with a lightweight fabric, shading hat, and sunglasses when you are going to be spending an extended period in the sun and always apply a natural mineral sunscreen before going out. These foods will help improve your skin’s ability to ward off harmful UV rays, but they are not an adequate substitution for being smart about spending time in the sun and taking proper precautions.
Citrus fruits such as lemon, lime, grapefruit, and orange are all beneficial for protecting your skin and reducing your risk of skin cancer from UV damage. This is due to the presence of limonene in these fruits, which has been associated with an incredible 34 percent lower risk of skin cancer.
Pretty much the healthiest of all drinks (next to water, of course), green tea is loaded with incredible antioxidants and protective flavanol. One such flavonol, known as EGCG, has been linked to fewer tumors developing in mice who were exposed to UV light. Plus, green tea could also help shore up a protective barrier against UVA light, thereby retaining collagen and helping prevent wrinkles and sagging skin.
Lycopene gives tomatoes their strong color and is a powerful antioxidant that could help protect against sun damage. Combine this versatile veggie (technically a fruit) with an oil such as olive or coconut to help increase the absorption of these critical flavanols and antioxidants.
Speaking of lycopene, watermelon contains far more than tomatoes, making it an even more effective sunblock. Plus, summer (when you’re likely going to be in the sun the most) is prime time for tomatoes and watermelon, and snacking on this sweet, juicy fruit each day is not exactly a chore. Strawberries can also serve the same purpose and are an equally as yummy summer fruit if you want to mix things up a little.
Carrots are a good, sweet source of beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, a crucial vitamin for maintaining healthy skin. Plus, studies have shown that beta carotene can actually provide natural sun protection once it builds up in the body after ten weeks of regular consumption.
Nuts and seeds
Flax, hemp, chia, walnuts, almonds. Other than the fact that these are all nuts and seeds, what else do they have in common? If you guess omega-3 fatty acids, you would be correct. Along with salmon and eggs, these heart nuts and seeds contain this crucial fat, which is essential for helping your skin build up a defense against the damaging nature of excessive sun exposure.
It really is wonderful that so many fruits that are ready for harvest during the sunniest, hottest part of the year are also some of the best for keeping you protected from sun exposure. Blueberries are a great source of vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help firm the skin, reduce damage, and alleviate the symptoms associated with sun damage.
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, and swiss chard are some of the most beneficial veggies you can eat. Along with a wealth of other benefits, leafy greens are excellent for shoring up the body with what it needs to resist sun damage. Enjoy dark greens to access a load of antioxidants with incredible free-radical-fighting capabilities.
Broccoli makes an excellent side dish and can be cooked and seasoned to perfection in just a few minutes. It’s not only delicious, however, but it is also a phenomenal veggie loaded with anti-cancerous benefits due to a property called sulforaphane. This can help protect the skin against free radical damage and keep it from developing potentially harmful sunspots. Other cruciferous veggies such as brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower also deliver many of the same benefits.