Eat Up! 6 Medicinal Foods That Help Heal Sun-Damaged Skin

0

cherries

An unhealthy diet can have a negative effect on your skin and health. But a healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body, even from the sun. Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals.  Loading your diet with them will go a long way against sunburn and sun damaged skin as a result of UV rays. – Dr. Nicholas Sieveking is a Nashville, TN board certified plastic surgeons and the director of Ageless Solutions.

To be clear, Dr. Sieveking is not saying you should replace your daily sunscreen with food. What you eat can only offer extra protection for your sun damaged skin.

So if you’re looking for some ingestible sun protection, these six sun-friendly foods should be on you shopping list.
  1. Berries and Stone Fruits

Strawberries, blueberries and cherries contain high levels of vitamin C, which can reduce free radical damage caused by exposure to UV radiation. Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production, important for skin’s youthful appearance. As a bonus, cherries contain melatonin, which protects skin from UV radiation and repairs sunburn damage.

  1. Leafy Greens

If it’s green and it’s got leaves, chances are it’s good for sun protection. According to one study, spinach, kale and swiss chard can reduce the risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50%. Broccoli is also a good choice: it’s full of sulphoraphane, an antioxidant that helps your cells protect themselves against UV radiation.

Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, sage and rosemary are also packed with free radical-fighting, skin-protecting antioxidants. Not sure where to start? Check out our guide to cruciferous vegetables.

  1. Red & Orange Produce

The antioxidant lycopene has been shown to protect the skin against sunburn and is at least twice as effective an antioxidant as betacarotene when it comes to blocking UV light. It also helps rid the body of free radicals. Chow down on tomatoes, papaya, guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit. Watermelon is an especially good choice: it contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes.

Betacarotene is another antioxidant that has natural sunscreen properties: it’s been linked to reduced reactions to sunburns. You can find it in carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, pumpkins, mango and apricots.

  1. Micro-Algae

Spirulna has been dubbed “the next great superfood,” and for good reason. This micro-algea — along with chlorella — contains the antioxidant astaxanthin, which has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against UV radiation. It also fights free radicals and inflammation to prevent sun damage by preventing UV-induced cell damage.

If micro-algea isn’t exactly your cup of tea, you can find this powerful antioxidant in shrimp and salmon.

  1. Chocolate

Ingesting dark chocolate will give you plenty of flavanoids. Flavanoids can improve your skin’s ability protect against sun burns and other UV-induced issues.

Research found that people who ate about one ounce of high-percentage dark chocolate every day for three months could withstand twice the amount of UVB rays before their skin started to turn red, compared to those who didn’t.

  1. Green & Black Tea

The myriad health benefits of tea are well-known, but it’s nice to know that the cups you’re drinking can also help protect against sun damage. Green and black teas are packed with polyphenols that can help stop cancer development by limiting the blood supply to the cancerous area.

Green tea can even help prevent non-melanoma skin cancer by enhancing DNA repair.

Eat up and lather up before ya hit the sun … and after!

Bess OConnor

Bess OConnor

Bess O'Connor is a Certified Ayurvedic & Holistic Health Practitioner. She's the Marketing & Creative Director for Healing Lifestyles & Spas, founder and Editor-In-Chief at Urban Wellness Magazine and is the President of Well Spirit Collective.
Bess OConnor

Comments are closed.