While wearing sunscreen is the best way to prevent sun damage, experts say that eating certain foods can help protect your skin from the sun’s damaging rays. And if you do overdo it in the sun, these nutrients can help repair the damage. Summer is here and many areas of the country are experiencing a serious heat wave. When you head to the beach or pool to cool off, or whenever you venture outdoors, always apply sunscreen, but eating a diet that includes oranges, carrots, avocados and other specific foods, can give you additional protection from the sun.
According to HuffPost, these nutrients can protect you from damaging UV rays and help keep your skin youthful during the hot, summer months:
• Vitamin C. Studies have shown that a vitamin C-rich diet can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and soothe dry, irritated skin. Add more of this powerful antioxidant to your diet by eating oranges and lemons, strawberries, kiwis, and bell peppers.
ׇ• Vitamin E. This soluble antioxidant protects the fatty membranes of our cells that can be damaged by the sun’s UV radiation. Too much sun exposure causes a loss of vitamin E, which makes us more susceptible to skin damage. Eating foods that are rich in this essential vitamin will not only help protect your skin, but also boost your immune system. Add avocados, almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, and broccoli to your diet.
• Beta carotene. Research has shown that antioxidants, including beta carotene, can help maintain skin health and appearance, and may protect the skin against UV radiation from the sun, says WebMD. Adding carrots, chili peppers, red and yellow peppers and sweet potatoes to your diet can elevate levels of beta carotene.
• Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are anti-inflammatory and help protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, says HuffPost. Many people are deficient in this nutrient, so taking an oral supplement may be advisable if your healthcare professional thinks it is necessary in your case. Salmon is not only rich in omega-3 fatty acids but also in astaxanthin, a powerful carotenoid, that helps protect your skin’s cells from the sun and reduce inflammation sometimes caused by sunburn. Salmon, krill oil, nuts, and seeds are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
• Prebiotics and probiotics. Supporting your gut’s microbiome can help repair your skin after sun exposure. Both prebiotics and probiotics can mitigate the damaging effects of the sun’s UV radiation. Add kimchi, kombucha, miso and sauerkraut to your diet to boost gut health and protect your skin.
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