Could your cacao smoothie or leafy green salad you had for lunch really be adding extra protection to your skin against sun damage? Believe it not, the answer is YES.
There are certain nutrients that increase your body's natural defense against harmful UV rays:
Good saturated fats
Omega-3 fatty acids
Antioxidants like lycopene, beta-carotine, and vitamin E
Essentially you can protect your skin from the inside, while also protecting it externally. And who is to say there is a such thing as too much sun protection right?
Luckily for us, there are lots of foods that contain those nutrients so it is easy to get your daily dose this summer
Note: Now that isn't to say eating these foods are a substitute for sunscreen, but instead they are the extra protection you can get that "won't wash off in the pool".
Here are the 6 best foods that contain a high count of sun protecting nutrients.
It is no surprise that this superfood made the list. It is a great source of healthy fat (monounsaturated fatty acids) and potassium, both which help protect the skin from damaging effects of the sun. Add them to smoothies, salads, or just eat half as a snack!
The powerfully packed antioxidant source is proven to have a critical impact on sun protection. Antioxidants are essential to ward off sun damage, skin cancer, and visible effects of photo-aging, and can also relieve sun burn! Eating a bowl of pomegranate seeds really is the ultimate skin superfood snack.
Tomato-based food contain the antioxidant lycopene that acts as a sunscreen and naturally defends your skin from UV rays. Eating a bowl of gluten free pasta with marinara sauce sounds like a delicious way to protect your skin!
4. Leafy Greens
A study found that people who ate more dark, leafy green veggies, lowered their risk of skin cancer. All those greens like don't always look so appetizing on the side are actually full of carotenoids, which can act as antioxidants. And we all know that antioxidants fight off the free radicals that do damage to your skin cells :) So the next time you get ready for a day in the sun, drink a cool refreshing green smoothie to add that extra protection.
5. Flax Seed
These whole grains are a great source of one of the sun protecting nutrients - omega 3s. They are also filled with lots of fiber and ligans, which are more antioxidants that help protect you against cancer. Sprinkle these nutritious little seeds on smoothies, salads, or oatmeal.
We saved one of the best for last! Satisfies chocolate cravings and is good for you (well when 175g is consumed a week), cacao is full of antioxidants, but it's specifically the flavonoids the help protect your skin. It is easy to substitute recipes that call for cocoa powder with raw cacao powder.
Try this week's Eating For Beauty recipe to get the best inner skin protection while also enjoying a delicious sweet treat!