Sun damage is continuously having a worse reputation mostly because of its harmful effects on the skin. We all know that the UV rays of the sun can increase risk of skin cancer but what most people dread is its effect on skin aging. Aside from using sunscreen correctly and avoiding sun exposure, you can also utilize your diet to protect your skin from sun damage. Here are the top foods that will do so.
Salmon is known as a “super food” that provides the body with omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are usually deficient in Western diets which may be one of the reasons skin in this part of the world tends to age faster. Studies have shown that essential fatty acids can help in protecting the skin from UV damage and premature skin aging. Salmon also contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that scavenges free radicals from sun exposure.
2. Green Tea
This is technically not food but it is one of the best skin-protecting beverages out there. It has been shown to inhibit certain processes that lead to premature aging of the skin from sun damage. It is rich in catechins which are powerful antioxidants that promote overall health. Green tea has the added benefit if boosting energy and studies have shown that it also helps promote fat loss.
Tomatoes contain lycopene which can help neutralize the harmful effects of UV rays from the sun. It also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C which makes it one of the most powerful super foods out there. Take note that lycopene from tomato products that are processed (tomato juice, tomato paste and catsup) are more bioavailable.
4. Sweet Potatoes
Free radicals are the enemy when it comes to keeping the skin youthful. These harmful compounds have even been linked to cancer. Sweet potatoes are rich an antioxidants called beta-carotene. These antioxidants also offer other health benefits like helping maintain eye health. This is only one of the reasons you should snack on fiber-rich and filling sweet potatoes.
Turmeric is a popular spice used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It has been used for centuries for a wide range of conditions. Recent studies have shown that it offers antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help protect the skin from premature aging. It helps in protecting the epidermal skin cells from damage caused by UVB radiation from the sun. It adds delicious flavour to many foods from rice to meat so you can use it on many dishes.
6. Brazil Nuts
Brazil nuts are among the best dietary sources of selenium, one nut provides more than the daily reference intake in the US. Aside from being rich in selenium, it also contains a high amount of vitamin E, one of the most powerful antioxidants. Snack on Brazil nuts during summertime to help protect your skin from sun damage. Just remember that it is calorie-dense so consumption needs to be moderate.
7. Sunflower Seeds
These crunchy seeds are also rich in the powerful antioxidant vitamin E. One ounce of sunflower seeds contains approximately 10 milligrams which is already 2/3 of the recommended daily intake. You can sprinkle it on your salads or mix it into your oatmeal but it can also be a healthy snack you can bring with you anytime.
8. Mustard Greens
These healthy greens are not just rich in vitamins but also contain carotenoids which can help protect the skin from sun damage. It is an excellent dietary source of beta-carotene but it is also rich in zeaxanthin and lutein which can help in improving overall health. It also contains vitamins C and E which are antioxidants that protect the skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
Remember that it is very important to use sunscreen correctly in order to optimally protect your skin from sun damage. Moreover, you should also have a good skin care regimen in place in order to keep your skin youthful and healthy. This includes the use of a moisturizer, facial cleanser and if needed, a toner. There are also anti-aging products that utilize antioxidants which can also help protect the skin from sun damage.