Sun Damage: 6 Healthy Foods That Can Help Save Your Skin! by Donna John
A healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Dr. Christopher Calapai, a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine, shares his list of foods that help prevent sun damage (along with sunscreen, of course!).
- Berries and stone fruits – Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.
- Leafy greens – If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50 percent. Broccoli is also a good choice and parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants.
- Red and orange produce – The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice – it contains 40 percent more lycopene than tomatoes.
- Micro-algae – Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea, along with chlorella, contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.
- Chocolate – As long as it’s dark chocolate you’re eating, you’ll be ingesting plenty of flavanoids, which can improve your skin’s ability protect against sunburns and other UV-induced issues.
- Green and black tea – Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area. Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.
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