Foods That Can Save Your Skin From Sun Damage? Seems shocking, right? Surprisingly, it is indeed very possible and beneficial to your health to eat certain types of food. The weather is warming up and prime pool season is just around the corner. Sun damage and skin cancer are a growing issue in our society, with people sacrificing their health to look tan. So get out that grocery list and add these items (along with sunscreen!) for your next trip.
#1 Green and Black Tea
A cup of tea a day keeps cancer away – quite literally. Many studies have shown that an increased consumption of tea decreases the incidence of skin cancer, both melanoma and not. Tea carries polyphenols that restrains cancer development by decreasing blood flow to potentially cancerous areas. Green tea especially is packed with antioxidants that are great at stopping all kinds of diseases.
#2 Red Peppers, Tomatoes, and Other Red Vegetables
Don’t want to get red? Eat red. Their pigment contains lycopene, a carotenoid that helps reduce skin irritation stemming from UV rays – aka, sunburn. Eating these red vegetables will act as a natural sunscreen for your body, decreasing your chances of getting burnt or other rashes from intense sun exposure. However, make sure you still apply sunscreen! While you can reduce the SPF if you want to, these vegetables act only as an addition to sunscreen, not as a replacement.
#3 Citrus Fruits
Oranges, strawberries, cherries, and blueberries all carry high concentrations of Vitamin C, which boasts multiple benefits. Among improving your overall immunity, Vitamin C reduces free radical damage caused by UV exposure. Cherries in particular are important because they contain melatonin, which will help you sleep better at night and reduce sunburn, all leading to a more youthful glow and healthier skin.
#4 Salmon and Shellfish
These two, along with other omega-3 rich fish products are a gift to anti-inflammation. Like citrus fruits, they protect your skin from free radical damage caused by UV radiation. In addition, many studies show that they lead to prevention from many different types of cancer, including skin cancer in the list.
#5 Dark Chocolate
The greatest thing about this one is that there is no catch. Yes, dessert can be good for your health sometimes! Dark chocolate contains amazing antioxidants called flavonoids, which reduce the severity of sun burning along with increasing blood flow and hydration in your skin. Some studies show that eating dark chocolate everyday can make you withstand sunburn up to twice as much as those who don’t, so don’t forget to eat dessert!
#6 Spinach and Other Greens
This may not be your favorite, but it’s definitely an important one. If it looks like a leaf, it will probably help the health of your skin. Kale and spinach in particular actually reduce the risk of certain skin cancers by as much as 50% – so eat up. Overall, leafy greens are packed with dozens of antioxidants that will help reduce burning and risk of cancer.
These should be foods incorporated into your diet anyway since they bring along health benefits that go far beyond just skin protection. But if you are the typical tan-obsessed, sun-loving girl like I am, you’re going to want to make these foods a priority. Don’t sacrifice your skin in 20 years for a tan that will last two weeks – be smart, eat up, and save your skin!