Bright sunny days are something everyone looks forward to during the summer months, but it’s also important to make sure those rays don’t wreak havoc on your skin. You’re probably used to applying sunscreen, but you can also protect your skin from the inside.
These foods contain valuable nutrients that can help shield your skin from the sun.
Oranges, lemons and other citrus fruits are known for their abundant Vitamin C content. Vitamin C is a valuable antioxidant and can fend off cancer cells and melanoma. Oregon State University published findings that support the protective effect of Vitamin C. It does not block UVA or UVB rays, but instead prevents the damage done from those rays.
Like citrus fruits, papaya is a strong source of Vitamin C. In addition, it contains carotenoids. Carotenoids are responsible for the bright hue of this fruit, and also prevent UVB rays from damaging the skin.
Packed with the carotenoid lycopene, watermelon is as nutrient-rich as it is refreshing. A typical summer treat, this juicy fruit can help prevent sunburn from within. Watermelon contains the highest amount of lycopene compared with any other fresh fruit.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae that contains more nutrients per calorie than most vegetables, making it a powerhouse when it comes to vitamins and minerals. Among these vitamins and minerals in spirulina is a powerful antioxidant called astaxanthin, which protects the skin from harmful UV rays.
Cruciferous vegetables are of the Brassica plant family and include broccoli, bok choy, brussel sprouts and many others. These vegetables contain a compound known as sulforaphane, which acts to mobilize cells in a way that prevents UV damage, protecting the skin by enhancing its own properties.
Another brightly hued fruit, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate juice contain a big boost of skin strengthening properties. In the flavorful seeds of the pomegranate, there is a large amount of polyphenols. Polyphenols can be used as an active ingredient in cosmetic products, as these tiny compounds strengthen the layers of skin and increase resistance to UV rays.
By embracing fruits and vegetables with skin-healthy nutrients, it is possible to aid in the prevention of sun damage. In addition to consuming a nutrient-rich diet, it is always recommended to apply a topical sunscreen as well.
Marissa is a health and fitness writer from the Tampa Bay area. In addition to researching the latest trending topics, she enjoys instructing kickboxing classes and posting incessantly to her Instagram account.