It’s not just what you put on your body that protects you from sunburn. What you eat could also reduce the risk of you damaging your skin from too much time in the sun.
As important as it is to slather on the SPF when you’re outside, certain foods are packed with nutrients which can lessen the likelihood of you getting burned too.
So while it’s not enough to eat these foods and leap into the heat sunscreen free it would be a good idea to give your diet and your skin health a boost by tucking into these oh-so-good-for you delights.
Tomatoes are incredibly high in antioxidants including lycopene which has natural sunscreen properties and helps fight the damage caused by free radicals.
You don’t just have to tuck into this fruit raw to reap the benefits. Research has shown that tomato paste is actually one of the best places to find lycopene and eating a tablespoon’s worth a day – whether you add it to pasta sauce or your pizza topping – could do help your skin.
Strawberries, blackberries, raspberries or watermelon – the choice is yours. As long as they’re packed with vitamin C you are onto a winner. These fruits contain the vital vitamin which is a powerful antioxidant shown to have anti-inflammatory and sun protection benefits. Another great source of vitamin C? The guava fruit. It contains five times the amount of one orange.
Carrots aren’t just delicious when added to a meal, they help to protect your skin too. This orange vegetable is a fantastic source of beta-carotene which helps to protect skin against damage caused from exposure to the sun. On their own they are great and when combined with foods containing vitamin E they are a powerhouse.
Regularly drinking green tea could also help to protect your skin from UV rays. One of the many catechins they contain epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) has been shown by studies to provide sun protection.
The seeds inside a pomegranate are incredibly rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, in particular ellagic acid. One study even found that when pomegranate extract was used alongside sunscreen, SPF was increased by a whopping 20%.
It sometimes seems as if turmeric is useful for pretty much everything that your body needs. In addition to its anti-inflammatory properties turmeric can also protect skin cells from the sun’s UV radiation. Too much UV radiation is what leads to the generation of free radicals which cause skin damage. So pop a teaspoon in your morning smoothie and start reaping the rewards.
Don’t forget that there’s absolutely NO better substitute for sun protection than a high quality, toxin-free sunscreen. If you do go out in the sun, follow the government’s guidelines. Always try to avoid the hottest hours of the day and cover up, wear a large hat as well as protective sunglasses and keep hydrated.