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Summer Sun Protection

August 8, 2017

It is important to use sunscreen any time you are outside in the sun, but did you know that your diet can help give you added protection? There are a few foods that can help provide some natural defense against the sun’s rays. Here are just a few to make a regular part of your diet.

Green and black tea.  Tea is full of antioxidants, which can help protect your cells from sun damage and also promote smoother skin. Make it hot or iced, or add brewed tea to smoothies or use it to cook rice or other grains!

Dark leafy greens. Spinach, kale, Swiss chard and herbs are also loaded with antioxidants, protecting your skin cells from UV prompted growth.

Red, orange and pink produce.   Food high in lycopene, which shows up in the rosy hued foods, can reduce the intensity of a sunburn.  Tomatoes (especially cooked ones) carrots, melon, berries, grapefruit, peppers and beets are great choices for high lycopene foods.

Cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts and kale are rich in antioxidants that have been shown to decrease risk of skin and other cancers!

High Omega-3 fat foods. Salmon, flax seed and oil, chia seeds, fish oil, walnuts and help seeds are good sources of Omega 3 fats, which can help guard against sunburn and DNA damage.

Dark Chocolate: We saved the best for last! Very dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and flavanols, helping prevent skin damage from the sun.

Remember- eating one of these foods right before going out in the sun is not enough to give you extra protection.  You should include them in your diet on a daily basis, to build a healthy supply of antioxidants in your cells. A diet rich in these foods is no substitute for frequent sunscreen application, so eat well and lather up for fun in the sun!