By Sreejan Guha Niyogi Last Updated:
Do you find slathering sunscreen not very enjoyable? Are you worried about protecting your skin from the sun after the effect of sunscreen is over? Don’t worry, rather than applying, you can now also add sunscreen into your diet. Yes! There are a lot of pigment-rich foods, which if added to your daily diet can contribute to building up skin’s natural barrier to harmful rays of the sun. Particular vegetables and fruits, like dark green veggies and dark purple berries contain protective compounds.
Here are some super foods to boost your skin’s SPF level.
Summer time means watermelon time. This sweet and juicy fruit is a common name in every household, and also a favourite of many. All of us love to eat watermelons, but not many of us know about the added benefits that we get from this yummy fruit. Watermelons are rich in an antioxidant called lycopene, which plays a major role in protecting your skin against any damage caused by pollution and exposure to sun. This fruit boosts your skin’s SPF from inside, and allows you to roam around under the sun without being too concerned about the harmful effects of the sun. Watermelons are among the best foods that help in escalating SPF levels in your body.
People call it tomato, we say Mother Nature’s sunscreen! As per a recent research published in the Journal of British Dermatology, twenty hale and hearty women, aged 21 to 47, who were asked to eat four tablespoons of tomato puree mixed with olive oil every single day for three months, were safer against sun tan than those who consumed only olive oil. Tomatoes are a key source of an antioxidant called carotenoids, which has been confirmed to deliver long-term safeguard against effects induced by UV radiations.
Green tea and black tea are very rich in polyphenols, which is one of the most influential botanical antioxidants recognized today. They offer unequalled action against free radical contact, which is accountable for eighty percent of skin ageing, and can enhance your skin’s antioxidant shield from the inside out. A study says that drinking two cups or more of either green or black tea lessens the threat of evolving squamous cell skin cancer by thirty percent. Bonus? As we all know green tea is also a fat reducer, it cuts down the extra fat in our body and helps us maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Wondering if your favourite thing in this world would really help you fight against the sun? The answer is yes! Studies suggest that dark chocolate or cocoa helps in increasing your SPF level promptly. Dark chocolates fight against tenderness of skin and the damage caused due to oxidation. It contains four times as much polyphenols as tea. These antioxidants guard our skin from sun tan and skin cancer. Remember, you should never add milk to chocolate as it will interfere with the absorption of antioxidants. We recommend you to have two ounces of dark chocolate daily.
Fish is a very nutritional food, rich in omega 3 fatty acids which is really good for the skin. Especially shellfish and fatty fish are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids, and have incredible powers to work against inflammation. Studies say these compounds are very helpful in protection against free radical damage caused by the sun. Another research found that if you add omega 3 to your diet it may help in preventing skin cancer.
Carrots contain a lot beta-carotenes, which aid in increasing skin protection. These carotenes benefit the body and fight against the soreness caused due to skin tanning, and upsurges the SPF levels.
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Broccoli, cauliflower and kale are few cruciferous vegetables that are packed with vital antioxidants that fight against free radicals. They also help in preventing cancer, not only of skin, but of many other organs as well. Studies say broccoli sprouts, also falling under cruciferous vegetable category, are rich in sulforaphane, which help in improving the skin’s capability of protecting itself from cancer.
If it is green and leafy, then for sure it is good for sun protection. Fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, sage and basil are filled with antioxidants which help in fighting against free radicals and protecting the skin. Dark leafy vegetables like swiss chard and spinach, are packed with antioxidants like carotenoids and polyphenols, which may also protect the skin from sun damage naturally. Intake of carotenoid supplements also diminishes erythema in the skin after replicated solar radiation exposure. A research also found that consumption of green leafy vegetables aided in preventing the recurrence of skin cancer in individuals who had previously been affected.
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Yes, this tasty fruit also helps in improving your skin’s resistance towards damage caused by harmful radiation of the sun. Pomegranates are packed with very powerful polyphenol compounds such as anthocyanins and catechins, which help in strengthening the upper layer of the skin and thus increases its resistance against the harmful ultraviolet rays.
Studies say almost 70% of our body is made of water, so for sure water plays a great part when it comes to protection against free radicals. Intake of lots of water keeps your skin hydrated and encourages a healthy natural moisture factor (NMF), which in return guards the skin from harmful effects of environmental factors. It is also important to drink plenty of water after you are exposed to the sun, to prevent dehydration.
We always discuss about foods that are healthy for our body, but we never thought that there are few foods, if added to our diet, could boost the skin’s SPF from inside. Bonus? Many of these foods also work towards prevention of skin and many other types of cancer occurring in different organs. If you know any other such foods that deserve being in this list, let us know in the comments section below.
Cover Image Credit: Instagram Sonakshi, Sophie, Malaika Arora
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