The sun is a great source of vitamin D which is essential to our health. Although the sun is beneficial to us, not practicing safe-sun techniques can have serious consequences like burns and even melanoma. So protecting ourselves when we are out and about allows us to still take in vitamin D without the nasty effects of the sun.
There are few things you can do when practicing safe-sun. For starters, lather on some sunscreen and ensure you continue to apply it throughout the day, especially if you go in water. Other tips are wearing light clothing which will help your skin breathe, keep you cool and even protect you from the rays of the sun. Lastly, don’t forget your head and your eyes; wearing a hat and sunglasses is also essential for heading out in the sun. But is that all we can do to protect ourselves? Not quite…
In fact, our diet can play a large role in protecting us from the sun as well. The foods we enjoy can work in ways that protect the skin from its harmful rays.
So if you’re looking for added sun protection, look no further than these nine foods.
9 foods to help protect skin from the sun
Tomatoes come in a few different shades but typically they are red. But if you enjoy them you won’t end up being red as they can protect your skin from the sun. In fact, the substance in tomatoes which give them a bright red color is what works in your favor for sun protection.
But for tomatoes to be really effective in sun protection you need to combine them with olive oil. One German study revealed those who consumed two teaspoons of olive oil along with a quarter cup of tomato paste over 10 weeks had a drop in sunburns by 35 percent. Look at it this way: If you consume tomato paste with olive oil over the winter you’ll have built-in sun protection by summer!
Broccoli is a staple food to healthy eating and even if you don’t enjoy it you should eat it for its skin protecting qualities. In a study the researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine found that exposing volunteers to UV lighting days after they applied broccoli-sprout extract to their skin helped decrease redness by 37 percent.
From their research they recommend at least consuming half a cup a day of the green stuff.
3. Sweet potatoes
This thanksgiving delight can work wonders on protecting the skin from sun damage. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene and not only does beta-carotene give sweet potatoes their color, but it makes sure your skin doesn’t burn.
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests beta-carotene is an antioxidant which can protect the body from free radicals – damage done to the body’s molecules. Because the sun can lead to free radical damage this active antioxidant in sweet potatoes works to offer you with extra sun protection.
Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids which has been shown to benefit health in a variety of ways. So it should be of no surprise that salmon also makes the list for helping the skin looking young and healthy.
Besides omega-3, salmon also contains antioxidants, which similar to sweet potatoes, works to fight off free radical damage.
Watermelon, like tomatoes, so once again if you consume bright red foods you most likely won’t turn bright red. The best part is, not only can watermelon protect you from the sun but it can keep you hydrated while the temperature increases. Multiple benefits make this food truly super!
6. Dark leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are a powerhouse for nutrition and the darker the better. When it comes to variety there are many to choose from. From kale to spinach stock up on these leaves for ultimate sun protection benefits.
Dark leafy greens tend to be high in antioxidants which, as we now know, protect against free radical damage which may lead to burns. Additionally, some greens like spinach, also contain beta-carotene which makes them as beneficial as sweet potatoes.
7. Dark chocolate
Good for your heart and now good for preventing sunburn, is there anything dark chocolate can’t do? Dark chocolate offers the most sun-protecting benefits because of its cocoa flavanols – which are often lost in the milk variety so stick with the darker version. In research studies, conducted in Germany, these flavanols have been shown to offer UV protection and improve skin condition.
Not just a superfood for eye health, they can help with protecting your skin as well. Another foot item which contains beta-carotene, there bright color means you won’t get burned. Besides beta-carotene, carrots also contain many other antioxidants which will sure be able to protect you from the sun.
9. Nuts and seeds
Almonds, sunflower seeds and Brazil nuts can all protect your skin from the sun. These nut and seed varieties contain antioxidants which not only protect from sun damage but also slow down the aging process. Be mindful of one thing: Nuts can be high in calories so although they are healthy and beneficial keep them down to a minimum – no more than a handful a day.
Along with the other mentioned sun-protecting tips, eating these nine foods may also benefit you is protecting your skin from the sun. Better yet, all these food items contain a slew of nutrients and vitamins so they all offer alternative benefits as well.
Don’t let sunburns weigh you down from enjoying the outdoors. Practicing safe-sun is easy and can keep you outdoors for longer.
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