There is more to protecting your skin from the sun than just sunscreen lotions and covering up with hats. Nutrition also plays an important role in protecting skin and repairing sun damaged skin. Antioxidants in particular are important for sun protection and sun damages skin repair. Let’s take a look how.
How the sun damages your skin
Sunburns and tanning are an inflammatory response and an outer symptom of the real damage deep inside your skin. UV exposure causes the formation of free radicals in your body and causes oxidative damage ie. skin damage.
How antioxidants can protect your skin from sun damage
So what does the food we eat have to do with sun damage? Antioxidants are molecules present in the food that we eat that are good for healthy skin protection as they fight the free radicals produced by the skin when exposed to the sun. Antioxidants include carotenoids, polyphenols and more help prevent and repair sun damaged skin and the long lasting effects like spots, wrinkles and fine lines caused by sun exposure. Nutrition plays an important role in protecting skin from damage including cancer.
Foods that protect skin from sun damage
Now that you have understood how food rich in antioxidants help sun damaged skin repair, here are 5 foods rich in these super nutrients:
Did you know that eating just 2 tablespoons of tomatoes can reduce your skin of sunburn by about 33%? Also, cooked tomatoes have a better effect on your skin than their raw counterparts. The lycopene in tomatoes is an antioxidant that goes a long way in giving you healthy and glowing skin. So go ahead and include tomatoes in your daily diet and fight skin damage.
The omega-3 fatty acids and the powerhouse astaxathin in fish are not just amazing anti-oxidants that are good for the skin, but they also are also great for your over-all health. Omega-3 fatty acids and astaxathin can reduce the redness that comes with UV exposure and decreases the chance of certain types of skin cancer. Include 3 servings of fish to your weekly diet or you can also have fish oil capsules.
Not just any chocolate, but dark chocolate rich in cocoa is rich in flavonol that has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Cocoa also increases blood circulation which aids the healing process of the skin.
- Green tea
The catachin is a powerful antioxidant found in green tea that protects skin cells from the oxidative damage caused by sun exposure. It also prevents non-melanoma skin cancer by speeding up DNA repair. Add a dash of lemon juice to your green tea to up the sun protection factor.
- Leafy greens
Dark leafy greens are must have for healthy living and that extends to the skin as well. Spinach, water-cress, kale etc. are rich in a number of anti-oxidants like carotenoids, vitamin C, vitamin E and flavonoids that protect the skin from UV damage and repair the ill-effects of the sun.
When you slather that sunscreen lotion on your skin the next time, don’t forget to pack an anti-oxidant rich snack from our list. Make food rich in anti-oxidants part of your skin care routine in summer and get glowing youthful skin always!