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Foods Prevent Sun Damage?

For all of those times you forgot to wear sunscreen, wouldn’t it be great if you had another form of skin protection? Research shows that most UV damage occurs from incidental sun exposure. We have good news: certain foods prevent sun damage and can help to provide your skin with an added layer of protection.  

It goes without saying, if you’re not protecting your skin from the outside, the only defense your skin has is from the inside. But fortunately there are several nutrients that have been proven to help protect against UV damage. Keep reading and we’ll show you how certain foods prevent sun damage.

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

1.Vitamins C & E

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

UVA, or Ultraviolet Aging rays, cause free radicals to form in our bodies. Free radicals damage  DNA and attack the skin causing it to age. Antioxidants work to neutralize the damage free radicals can cause. Vitamins C and E have been shown to be protective against UV damage, and are most effective when paired together.

Whole food sources of vitamin E include spinach, avocado, sunflower seeds, almonds, bell peppers, asparagus, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. It’s important to eat these foods with plenty of fat to boost the absorption of vitamin E, which is a fat-soluble vitamin. Heat easily destroys vitamin C, so it’s best to eat these foods either raw or very lightly cooked.

2.Lycopene

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

You’ve probably heard about the anti aging benefits of lycopene on ketchup commercials. Lycopene is an antioxidant found in tomatoes and can reduce sunburn by up to 40%. Unlike many antioxidants that are damaged by heat, lycopene content actually increases when cooked. So take an extra serving of pasta with your favorite red sauce this summer!

3.Fish Oil

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

Did you know a sunburn caused by UVB (Ultraviolet burning) rays cause inflammatory markers to be released? This is what causes our skin to turn red. The omega 3 fatty acids in fish oil are powerful anti-inflammatories, and a diet rich in fish oil protects against UVA and UVB damage. Consume this anti-inflammatory fat found in algae and fatty, cold-water fish including salmon, sardines, and mackerel. If you don’t like fish, you can take high quality Omega 3 supplements.

4.Coconut Oil

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

Coconut oil is a saturated fat that can help protect your skin from sun damage. In addition to internal protection, coconut oil also has a natural SPF of about 8. If you want to add coconut oil to your diet, you can use coconut oil for frying and baking.  

5.Green Tea

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

Green tea boosts weight loss, primes brain function, and even fights free radical damage caused by the sun. Several studies have found green tea is protective against UV damage and that it can improve skin elasticity, which can prevent the tell tale signs of aging including skin sagging and wrinkling.

6.Vitamin D

Foods Prevent Sun Damage

Isn’t it ironic that one of the best sources of vitamin D is the sun?  Interestingly, vitamin D may also help protect us from sun damage. The most natural way to make vitamin D is to expose your skin to UVB light, but this can be tricky to gauge. We say it’s best to avoid sun exposure and supplement with vitamin D3 – the kind of vitamin D that our bodies make. Other whole foods with vitamin D include cheese, eggs, fish, and vegetables. 

In summary, if anti-inflammatory, antioxidant foods will help prevent sun damage, then you want to avoid pro-inflammatory foods including processed foods, vegetable oils like soy, sunflower, corn, canola, cottonseed, and safflower oil, and refined sugar.

Moreover, just because you eat foods that prevent sun damage doesn’t mean you can stop wearing sunscreen and covering up. Stay sun-savvy and incorporate these and other anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant foods into your diet and use a mineral sunscreen.

We invite you to call the National Laser Institute Med Spa at 800-851-0969 or click here for your complimentary anti aging consultation. It’s true, certain foods prevent sun damage. Protect your skin and achieve the younger looking, beautiful skin you desire with diet, sunscreen, and anti aging treatments at the National Laser Institute Med Spa!

 

Louis J. Silberman is the CEO and Co-Founder of National Laser Institute, the pioneer of the medical aesthetics training industry and one of the largest educators in the country.