Few things in life feel as good as spending a day at the beach; but you might have to pay for that pleasure later – with sun damage. I believe that we can heal ourselves from the inside-out using food, and this is especially true when it comes to combating the effects of UV rays. No, I don’t think broccoli takes the place of sunscreen, but these super foods will definitely help protect your skin.
The amount of antioxidants in your blood actually decreases when your skin is exposed to sunlight. But sunlight isn’t bad; in fact it’s vital for producing Vitamin D naturally! Even so, you’ll want to pump up your antioxidant intake so you can get the best of both worlds. With that in mind, take these foods with you to your next beach party.
Salad with mandarin orange slices, Pomegranates and Walnuts – While the Omega-3 fatty acids in Walnuts will keep your skin hydrated and ready for repair, pomegranate seeds will work to protect your skin cells from UVB damage. The vitamin C in mandarin oranges is also critical to maintaining healthy, youthful skin, especially when exposed to UV light.
Cherries are a terrific source of the antioxidant melatonin, which protects the skin against damage caused by ultraviolet light. It also helps your skin repair itself after getting sunburnt! Who doesn’t love a bowl of cherries at a picnic?
Throw mushrooms on the grill – crimini mushrooms! These kabob-ready mushrooms have some of the highest selenium contents found in food (Brazil nuts may beat them out, but with far more calories). They’re also packed with B-Vitamins, which your body needs to create new skin cells.
Green tea – don’t worry, you can have it iced! Green tea has an antioxidant that actually fights inflammation in the skin, neutralizes free radicals, and prevents wrinkles. For an extra lazy day at the beach, just bring some green tea-bags and a gallon jug of water and make sun-tea. No stovetop required. But you might need some ice.
Now go scrunch those toes in the sand!