A diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals, so loading your diet with them will go a long way to protect against sunburn and skin damage as a result of UV rays. You must still use sunscreen but what you eat can offer additional protection for your skin.
There are 9 types of food that will do your skin wonders when soaking up those rays.
- Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.
- Spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%.
- Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.
- Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants.
- The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is found in tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.
- Betacarotene is another antioxidant that has natural sunscreen properties: it’s been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns. You can find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, mango and apricots.
- Dark chocolate can improve your skin’s ability protect against sun burns and other UV-induced issues.
- Green & black tea can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.