8 Foods That Provide Protection From The Sun
While sun exposure can help in providing a daily dose of Vitamin D, excessive exposure to UV rays can be extremely detrimental to our health. UV rays can activate free radicals in the skin which can lead to premature aging, as well as increase the risk for skin cancer. Furthermore, excessive, unprotected exposure to the sun can often result in nasty sunburn which, ironically, is the body’s response to the damaging effects of UV rays. The best way to protect ourselves from excessive sunlight exposure is by wearing the right sunscreen and covering up with a hat and long sleeves. However, our diet can also play a protective role, with certain foods protecting our skin from the inside out.
Sun Protective Foods
When we’re exposed to the sun, the amount of antioxidants in our blood decreases thus it’s important to note that the following foods are extremely rich in antioxidants. To be clear, nothing should replace your daily use of sunscreen, but these foods are sure to provide your skin (and health) with additional protection.
Almonds, along with other nuts such as Brazil nuts, are great sources of Vitamin E and selenium, and they both play an antioxidative role when it comes to skin care. Vitamin E is great for premature aging as it helps counteract the actions of free radicals and thus helps in the prevention of wrinkles. Selenium is also important as it’s needed to produce the enzymes selenoproteins which also fight against premature aging as a result of free radicals.
Blueberries are known to be antioxidant power bombs and for good reason.
Not only do they help to fight off free radicals, but their vitamin C content aids in delaying the formation of wrinkles.
Not a fan of carrots? Well, their bright-colored orange hue of can provide your skin with plenty of protection against the sun. The dark orange color is a result of the nutrient beta-carotene which helps in preventing sun damage.
Cauliflower contains an amino acid by the name of histidine that encourages the production of urocanic acid, which easily absorbs UV radiation.
Aside from being packed with vitamin C, which helps build collagen, cherries help boost the production of melatonin. Melatonin protects the skin against UV radiation and it also stimulates the growth of new cells which can help repair sunburned skin.
6. Fatty fish
Omega-3 fatty acids – which are found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout – help protect the skin against the harmful effects of UV damage.
One particular fatty fish, salmon, contains the antioxidative carotenoid astaxanthin. Astaxanthin helps to ease inflammation associated with sunburn as well as hunt down free radicals. Fish eggs also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
7. Green tea
Although it’s not a food, drinking green tea can help provide protection against harsh UV rays. According to one animal study, the flavanol that’s found in green tea, EGCG, helps reduce the amount of tumors induced by UV light in mice. One study also revealed that green tea can even help lower the risk of skin cancers by enhancing DNA repair. Click here to find out more about this study.
Known as the seeded apples, pomegranates offer excellent sun protection. Pomegranates contain cell renewal properties, and they also prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin. Furthermore, they contain the antioxidant anthocycanins which provides the skin with protection against sun damage.
Although these foods can provide sun protection – as well as a range of other health benefits – your diet does not take precedence over the daily use of sunscreen. It’s still extremely vital to stay protected against the sun. Ensure that you wear sun-protective clothing and hats, stay out of the sun at midday and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (free of oxybenzone). Remember to reapply it every two hours.
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