Nothing can ruin a summer day quite like a red, stinging sunburn. So you do your best to prevent sunburn by wearing all-natural sunscreen, keeping a wide-brim hat close by, and limiting how much sun exposure you get in the first place.
But have you ever thought you could help prevent sunburn with what you point on your plate?
It may seem strange, but it’s absolutely true. Certain foods can actually help protect your skin from sun damage when you eat them.
Prevent sunburn starting in your kitchen
The best part of preventing sunburn with diet is that the foods that pack the biggest sun-protecting wallop happen to be delicious too…
Hopefully, you’re already eating almonds for heart health and better blood sugar control, but if you still need a push to add a handful of them into your diet every day, this is it.
Almonds could help prevent sunburn. They’re a great source of vitamin E, which is a natural antioxidant, and sunscreen. And if you don’t care for almonds, almond milk and almond oil have the same effect!
The beta-carotene that protects your eyesight also may help prevent sunburn by guarding against excessive UV exposure. Plus, carrots are just great for overall anti-aging purposes, so load up on them in your salads or just much on a few as a snack.
3. Green tea:
It only takes 2 cups of green tea a day to help prevent sunburn. It’s the antioxidants known as catechin compounds that are so helpful. And the best part is that iced green tea works just as well as hot, so sip away to protect against sun damage and stay cool at the same time!
Ready to get exotic? Break out the guava fruit! A single guava has 5 times the amount of vitamin C – a key component in preventing sunburn and protecting skin – than an orange. But if you can’t find guava (or you’re not quite that adventurous), all vitamin C-rich foods will help prevent sunburn to some extent.
In this case, it’s the ellagic acid in pomegranate that helps prevent sunburn. Unfortunately, the peak growing season tends to be late summer to early winter, so they may be harder to find during mid-summer.
But don’t forget, late in the season sunburns can be some of the worst kind since it’s when we least expect to get them. So if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors during pomegranate season go ahead and load up.
Sure, fish oils keep your skin looking great, but the benefits don’t stop there. Those same omega-3 fish oils help prevent sunburn, too! The weather is perfect for salmon on the grill, so go ahead and indulge.
Craving delicious and juicy summer tomatoes? Go ahead and stock up.
In at least one study, people ate tomato paste in order to help prevent sunburn, but the whole tomato tastes even better and does the exact same thing. Thank the lycopene in tomatoes for the extra sun protection.
With sunshine common sense is the key
Back in the 1970s, the mainstream started warning us to shun the sun. In fact, they hyped up the dangers so much that now we hide from the sun and we’re losing out on the very real health benefits of sunshine!
Remember, it doesn’t have to be one extreme or the other. There’s a lot of middle ground between slathering yourself with oil and baking in the sun all day – or hiding in the house from 10:00 until 4:00, never allowing the sun to touch your skin.
Sun damage is very real, and you definitely should be avoiding sunburns at all costs. But vitamin D deficiency and all the health problems that come with it are also very real.
So it’s important to get some sun, just do it wisely. Spend a few minutes every day–around 15 should do it– uncovered in the sun every day. And then prevent sunburns by eating the right foods, taking reasonable precautions, and wearing natural sunscreen.
You can even try your hand at making some safer chemical-free sunscreen at home:
|Beat the Heat Homemade Sunscreen|
|Making your own homemade sunscreen is far easier than you imagine.
• Melt the oils and beeswax over a double boiler, until well combined.
• Remove from heat and add zinc oxide powder.
• Using a hand blender, mix everything together until smooth.
• Store in mason jars until your next sunny day.
• Apply liberally.
If you want more information on safer sunscreens our friends over at the Environmental Working Group have some great advice here.
Not only can you prevent sunburn AND enjoy the sun, you should. So eat the right foods, be smart, and get out there and enjoy your summer!