September 04, 2022
Unless you have been living in an underground cave, you know all the rules for protecting your skin from the sun. Stay out inside if possible from 10 am until 2 pm when the sun’s rays are at their most intense. Wear sunscreen all year round, with an SPF of at least 30. Protect yourself with a hat, sunglasses, pants and a long-sleeved shirt if you have to be outside when the sun is at its most dangerous. Don’t forget to protect your lips with lipstick or lip balm with an SPF of at least 30.
But there’s one more thing you can add to this list to protect your skin, and that’s to partake of foods that protect your skin. Plus, eating is a lot more fun than having to remember to put on sunscreen! Let’s get a closer look at six of these sun superfoods:
1 - Green Tea - Research in mice showed that green tea consumption was associated with fewer UV light induced tumors, due to a compound found in both green and black tea known as EGCG. More research on green tea also showed it decreased UVA light’s skin damage as well as protected against the reduction of collagen, which gives your skin its firmness and elasticity. Green tea can be consumed both hot or iced as it gives the same great benefits either way.
2 – Watermelon - In the summer months watermelon is king! This juicy fruit is packed with lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that protects against both UVA and UVB radiation from the sun. But research has also shown the lycopene in watermelon does not act instantly. You’ll need to consume it for several weeks every day to build up its photoprotective effect. Not hard at all when the weather is hot! Watermelon makes a great addition to salsa.
3 – Blueberries - These beautiful, tasty little fruits are full of free radical fighting antioxidants that can damage your skin secondary to both sun exposure as well as stress. They also contain a lot of Vitamin C which helps to ward off wrinkles. If you have a choice, get wild blueberries as they are generally even more powerful in terms of antioxidant content. Great on granola with a dollop of creamy organic yogurt.
4 - Nuts and Seeds - Nuts and seeds such as hemp seeds, chia, flax and walnuts are full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, all great for your skin. They are anti-inflammatory as well as help to protect the integrity of your skin. If you make your own granola, you can add all of these sun protectors to your recipe.
5 – Cauliflower - Most people think that only brilliantly colored fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants. But the pale colored cauliflower breaks this rule to pieces as it not only is full of antioxidants but is a great source of histidine, an alpha-amino acid that are necessary for your body to produce urocanic acid that in turn soaks up UV radiation. Cauliflower sprinkled with a little good olive oil and spices such as powdered garlic and smoked paprika is great roasted in your air fryer.
6 - Greens and Carrots - What’s up Doc? That rascally rabbit knew what he was talking about when it came to carrots. They are full of beta carotene, which your body changes into vitamin A, a skin health powerhouse. Like watermelon though, you need to eat carrots regularly to get the sun protection benefits. Leafy greens such as collards, kale and spinach are also packed with beta carotene, in addition to skin protective antioxidants.
Bio-active peptides are also excellent antioxidants. They help protect your cells from the damage caused by environmental stressors like sun damage. Bioactive peptides are proteins that have been broken down into tiny component of the original protein. Scientists indicate that antioxidant peptides, taken from food proteins, have potential to be explored as a natural new drug in the battle against oxidative stress. High-quality marine collagen is one of those great bioactive peptides that work to scavenge free radical in your body.
Note - these foods are an addition to a sun protective routine and should not be used to replace the use of sunscreen, sunglasses, and protective clothing.
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