The sun’s harsh rays are one of the biggest causes of aging and skin damage over time. The earlier you start protecting your skin from the sun, the more likely you are to have healthy, smooth skin later in life. Of course, this means wearing sunscreen, but you can also get some sun protection from having a good diet. Some foods can give your body a natural resistance to sun damage. Here’s how you can incorporate them into your diet.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, which can protect your cells from damage and they even prevent wrinkles in some cases due to their high vitamin C content. Blueberries are a great sweet treat to have as an alternative to dessert. They taste great on their own or when added to your morning oats and yogurt or smoothie!
Seafood products like salmon are a must have in our diets, because they contain essential omega-3 fatty acids. There are so many benefits to getting your omega-3 fatty acids, but they have anti-inflammatory properties that can soothe your skin after you’ve experienced a burn or general irritation from the sun. Adding oily fish to your diet each week can help you get the omega-3s that you need to maintain a youthful glow!
Carrots are high in beta-carotene, which is the compound that is beneficial for our eyes. However, beta-carotene can also have similar positive effects on our skin cells. Regularly getting enough beta-carotene gives your body natural sun protection. Baby carrots make for a great snack between meals, and if you want to make them a little more interesting, you can dip them in hummus, add them to your salad, or make carrot fries with them by roasting them in coconut oil and arrowroot flour!
Green tea is known for its high concentration of antioxidants. One of the most effective antioxidants in green tea is called EGCG, and it can protect your skin cells against the damaging effects of UVA rays. It also makes you less likely to lose collagen as you get older. Collagen is the nutrient that makes our skin feel firm and youthful. Green tea and matcha, in particular, are all the rage right now and is widely available in stores and most likely at your local coffee shop!
As if you needed more encouragement to eat chocolate – cacao– not to be confused with cocoa– can improve blood circulation to your skin tissues, which makes it much easier for your skin to heal from damage. Cacao also can make your skin stronger by improving its density. Treat yourself to a piece of dark chocolate that is at least 75% cacao before bed to reap the benefits. The darker the chocolate, the better!
Maintaining a varied diet full of vitamins and minerals is one of the best ways to keep your skin healthy. The better nourished your body is, the more effective your skin will be in bouncing back from sun damage. Of course, you should always make sure to wear sunscreen for extra protection when you are in direct sunlight.