They say that beautiful and healthy skin is the best accessory, and while the sun can give us a bronzed glow, it can also damage our skin. We need the sun for—well, everything—but excessive exposure to UV rays can be very harmful. Did you know that you can boost your skin’s natural sun protection by consuming certain foods? While these aren’t exact substitutes for you to ditch the SPFs, these healthy, double-duty foods are full of antioxidants, essential for fighting free radicals, inflammations, and skin-damaging atoms and molecules.
Five foods that will help keep your skin healthy.
- Fish like mackerel, salmon, and trout are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly beneficial for maintaining healthy skin. You’ve heard all the praises about omega-3 fatty acids, but they really do live up to the hype! These compounds can help protect your skin from the sun, lubricate your skin, and are also believed to help prevent certain types of skin cancer.
- Two cups of green tea a day… keeps the sunburns away? Green tea contains two very powerful antioxidants: catechins and EGCGs. Catechins not only help fight diseases but also protect your skin from sunburn inflammation and damage from the UV rays. EGCGs have been studied to stop genetic damage in human skin cells that have been exposed to UV light. Green tea also prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.
- Carrots are known for their eye health benefits, but did you know that they’re also great for your skin? While any foods that are high in carotenoids can ease sunburn intensity, carrots are one of the best sources of beta-carotene, which helps against free radical damage from excessive sun exposure.
- Almonds are an amazing source of vitamin E, which aids in skin repair and protection from the sun. A study found that individuals who consumed just twenty almonds worth of vitamin E suffered from less sunburn than individuals who didn’t. Almonds also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that protects the skin from UV damage and the breakdown of collagen, preventing signs of ageing.
- It seems like there is no better fruit than watermelon on a hot summer day thanks to its high water content. This staple summer fruit also offers great protection from the sun. Watermelon is high in lycopene, 40% more than tomatoes, a carotenoid and antioxidant that fight the free radicals produced from excessive sun exposure. Lycopene also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help heal sunburns and UV damage.
These foods have tremendous benefits for your skin in the long run, but if you’re going anywhere on a sunny day, remember to lather on some trusty sunscreen or cover up for immediate protection.