Foods nourish our bodies but can they protect us from the harmful rays of the sun? Research shows that while foods won’t surpass sunscreen in terms of protection, there are certain foods than can boost your body’s ability to avoid the harmful effects of the sun. I sat down with BayNews9 recently to talk about some of the foods.
Here’s a run down of some of the questions from the interview:
HOW CAN THESE FOODS PROTECT US FROM THE SUN?
You know no food will prevent sun damage so it’s important to still use sunscreen but what’s amazing about food is how it can work in synergy with your body to make it stronger.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THESE FOODS THAT CAN PROTECT US FROM THE SUN, LET’S START WITH BLUEBERRIES, WHAT DO BLUEBERRIES CONTAIN?
That’s simple and simple to boost your intake. Blueberries contain antioxidants. The sun on a daily basis causes exposure to UV radiation and antioxidants fight the free radicals released from that exposure and can help us from that sun damage.
WHAT ABOUT UNTS AND SEEDS? Nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are all great sources of Omega-3. On a daily basis Omega 3’s work to keep our skin integrity up but Omega 3’s are also anti-inflammaatory so if you do get a sunburn they can support healing.
CARROTS AND BELL PEPPERS? These food items are high in beta carotene which our body converts to Vitamin A that helps support healthy skin BUT new research is showing that beta-carotene can shield us from sunburn….BUT this takes a minimum of 10 weeks to become effective so start now! Study was done with supplements of beta-carotene so check your multivitamin as well
TOMATOES AND LEAFY GREENS? Again we’re back to research and that 10 week mark, but studies have shown that lycopene can make us less susceptible to sunburns. In this study they had tomato paste as lycopene levels are actually higher in cooked tomatoes. What they’re saying is that these compounds work in synergy to absorb the UV rays and not let it damage us on a cellular level.
With leafy greens we’re back to talking antioxidants and studies confirm that those with a higher intake of leady greens can decrease their risk of skin cancer
This research was done with a high flavanol beverage but it also showed increased resistance to the sun meaning women were less sensitive to UV radiation and it improved blood flow to the skin which improved skin’s texture and tone.