While it is always important to spread on at least a thin layer of sunblock, but some other super powerful UV-blockers are hiding right in the produce aisle.
Meet these double-duty foods that increase the skin’s ability to protect against UV damage and are a part of a healthy diet too. Their sun blocking secret is Antioxidants. They help to fight against free radicals. Free radicals are set of atoms/molecules that contribute to premature aging and are a product of unprotected sun exposure. Free radicals prowl the body, stealing electrons from healthy skin cells. Antioxidants run around the body,giving up the extra electrons to free radicals so they stop pestering the healthy cells.
Some sun-friendly foods are:
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids (shellfish and fatty fish) have incredible anti-inflammatory powers. Research suggests these compounds can help protect cells from free radical damage. Another study found that adding omega-3 to the diet can help to prevent some types of skin cancer.
Red and Orange Fruits and Vegetables
Lycopene found in tomatoes and other red and pink produce aids in protection against some UV-induced skin irritations like erythema. Lycopene helps rid the body of free radicals. Beta-carotene found in red and orange produce reduces the reactions to sunburns. The flavanoid-filled orange and pink citrus fruits improve the skin’s ability to protect against UV rays.
The Flavanoids found in dark chocolate may improve the skin’s ability protect against some types of skin damage, including UV-induced issues like sun burns. The flavonoids can help keep skin hydrated, increase oxygen saturation, and boost blood flow.
Cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, kale, and cauliflower, have essential antioxidants that help fight free radicals.This family of vegetables helps in cancer prevention not only in the skin but in a number of other organs as well. Research shows that broccoli sprouts, also in the cruciferous family, contain sulforaphane, which increases the skin’s ability to protect itself from cancer.
Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage, and rosemary are packed with our free-radical fighting and skin-protecting antioxidant friends. Dark leafy greens such as spinach and swiss chard are all full of antioxidants like polyphenols and carotenoids, which may also naturally protect the skin from sun damage.
Green and Black Teas
Green and the Black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Some studies have found that green tea can help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer.