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Foods that protect us from the SUN

 

We all know that everyone needs to wear a Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with an SPF 30 free of oxybenzone to protect us against those UV rays. This keeps our skin looking soft and subtle as well as looking years younger. While sun exposure can help in providing a daily dose of Vitamin D, excessive exposure to the UV rays can be extremely detrimental to our health. The UV rays can activate free radicals in the skin which can lead to premature aging, as well as an increase in the risk for skin cancer. Furthermore, excessive, unprotected exposure to the sun can often result in nasty sunburns which, ironically, are the body’s response to the damaging effects of UV rays. The best way to protect ourselves from excessive sunlight exposure is by wearing the right sunscreen and covering up with a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves. However, our diet can also play a protective role, with certain foods protecting our skin from the inside out.

When we’re exposed to the sun, the amount of antioxidants in our blood decreases, so it’s important to note that the following foods are extremely rich in antioxidants. But remember that no food can ever replace your daily use of sunscreen, but these foods are sure to provide your skin and your overall health with additional protection. Now that is pretty cool!

1. Almonds

Almonds, along with other nuts such as Brazil nuts, are great sources of Vitamin E and selenium and they both play an antioxidative role when it comes to skin care health. Vitamin E is great for premature aging as it helps counteract the actions of free radicals and thus helps in the prevention of wrinkles. Selenium is also important as it’s need to produce the enzymes selenoproteins which also fight against premature aging as a result of free radicals.

2. Blueberries

Blueberries are known to be antioxidant power bombs and for good reason. Not only do they help to fight off free radicals but their vitamin C content aids in delaying the formation of wrinkles.

3. Carrots

Not a fan of carrots? Well their bright-colored orange hue of can provide your skin with plenty of protection against the sun. The dark orange color is a result of the nutrient beta-carotene which helps in preventing sun damage.

4. Cauliflower

Cauliflower contains an amino acid by the name of histidine that encourages the production of urocanic acid, which easily absorbs UV radiation.

5. Cherries

Aside from being packed with vitamin C, which helps build collagen, cherries help boost the production of melatonin. Melatonin protects the skin against UV radiation and it also stimulates the growth of new cells which can help repair sunburned skin.

6. Fatty Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids – that are found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel and trout – helps protect the skin against the harmful effects of UV damage.
One particular fatty fish, salmon, contains the antioxidative carotenoid astaxanthin. Astaxanthin helps to ease inflammation associated with sunburn as well as hunt down free radicals. Fish eggs also contain omega-3 fatty acids.

7. Green Tea

Although it’s not a food, drinking green tea can help provide protection against harsh UV rays. According to one animal study, the flavanol that’s found in green tea, EGCG, helps reduce the amount of tumours induced by UV light in mice. One study also revealed that green tea can even help lower the risk of skin cancers by enhancing DNA repair.

8. Pomegranates

Known as the seeded apples, pomegranates offer excellent sun protection. Pomegranates contain cell renewal properties and they also prevent the breakdown of collagen in the skin. Furthermore, they contain the antioxidant anthocycanins which provides the skin with protection against sun damage.

Although these foods can provide sun protection, as well as a range of other health benefits – your diet does not take precedence over the daily use of sunscreen. It’s still extremely vital to stay protected against the sun. Ensure that you wear sun-protective clothing, a hat, sunglasses and stay out of the sun at midday usually from 11 -2 pm and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen (free of oxybenzone) like the Rodan + Fields ESSENTIALS Sunscreen. Remember to reapply it every two hours and be Sun Safe.

For more information on living an active and healthy life, check out Longevitylive.

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