Everyone loves to be outside when the warm summer sun rises overhead. Some of us reside in cold weather climates where the sun’s warm rays only grace us with their presence for a few weeks during the summer. Others live in warm weather climates where the temperatures are comfortable year-round, and the sun is rarely blocked by clouds. Regardless of where you live, being outside when it is warm is a great feeling.
As enjoyable as it is to sit outside in the sun and get a good tan, all those rays from the sun can have harmful effects on our skin. Wearing more clothes while outside and slathering on the suntan lotion are common ways to combat skin damage, but there are other easy ways to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Believe it or not, there are certain foods that have a number of helpful components that strengthen your skin’s ability to fight back against sun damage.
There are a lot of foods that can be consumed to help your skin fight sun damage, but the following are considered by many to be the top 10 foods for fighting skin damage:
- Pink grapefruit
- Dark chocolate
- Green tea
Many of these great foods offer the same protection, with different flavors and options for consumption. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and cauliflowers are part of a larger group of cruciferous vegetables that increase your body’s vitamin and antioxidant intake. These vegetables are particularly useful in helping the skin battle against cancer with numerous compounds and phytochemicals.
Cantaloupe and pink grapefruit are part of a larger group of colorful fruits that offer great protection for your skin from the sun’s rays. Grapefruit provides the body with an excellent source of lycopene, an antioxidant that can increase the body’s ability to fight back against free radicals by as much as 33%.
Cantaloupe is considered by many to be the best fruit to fight back against skin damage caused by the sun. This melon offers the highest concentration of beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which are critical to healthy skin. Beta-carotene in particular helps the skin repair itself.
Tomatoes, dark chocolate, and green tea round out the list of the 10 best foods to fight against sun damage, with each bringing its own benefits to the table. The benefits of dark chocolate are just coming to light, but scientists have discovered that cocoa beans help reduce the skin’s sensitivity to light. Tomatoes contain a high level of lycopene and other antioxidants that actually help prevent sunburn.
Finally, there is green tea. The only liquid to make the list, green tea is beneficial to the skin because it is loaded with polyphenols. With abilities similar to antioxidants anti-inflammatories, polyphenols not only help protect the skin from sunburn but also help protect against skin cancer.
Consuming these 10 foods should not be considered a substitute for other preventative methods. Wearing sunscreen, and constantly reapplying it, is still a great way to protect your skin and avoid burning. Remember to try and avoid excessive exposure when the sun is at its most dangerous, between 10 am and 4 pm.