Eating the right foods can help us improve our skin from the inside out and can even boost our natural SPF! What is SPF, anyway? It stands for Sun Protection Factor and it is a measure of how well sunscreen will protect the skin from UVB rays.
With our depleted ozone layer and the sun being so different than when I was a kid, we could use all the help we can get. Eating the right foods can help us improve our skin from the inside out and by consuming foods rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients you can help provide an added layer of protection for the skin and also help prevent signs of aging.
Antioxidants- When the skin is exposed to the sun it causes free radicals to form which can damage the membrane of the skin cells and harm DNA of that cell. Antioxidants slow down or prevent the effect of ‘free radical and oxidation” damage. Just think about slicing an apple and before it turns brown you squeeze fresh lemon juice on it……miraculously the browning STOPS! Eating an antioxidant rich diet commonly found in fruits and vegetables can protect and repair the cellular walls.
Carotenoids- This is what gives food their vibrant color and is crucial in the photosynthesis process in plants (its what protects plants from sun damage). Foods containing high concentration of carotenes are:
- Sweet potato
Polyphenols – One of the most powerful botanical antioxidants! These little babies offer action against free radical exposure which is responsible for 80% of skin aging and boost protection to the skin inside and out. Good sources are:
- Green Tea
Lycopene – is a “red” carotenoid; foods high in lycopene are:
- Watermelon (contain 40% more lycopene than tomatoes)
- Pink Guava
- Red Bell Pepper
- Pink Grapefruit
Sulphoraphane – rich in antioxidants!
- Green Leafy vegetables
Vitamin C – The best natural sources of Vitamin C are:
- all citrus fruit
Vitamin D – Vitamin D is like an internal sunscreen. Supplementation is definitely in order for those of us who live in areas with long winters (please don’t remind me).
Water – Keeping Hydrated encourages your skin to stay healthy and supple and keeps cells buoyant while bathing in the sun.
Wondering how to get some internal sunscreen on your plate?
Here is a simple yet delicious recipe that is full of flavor and goodness. Enjoy!
Beet and Carrot Salad
1 cup of carrots shredded
1 cup of beets shredded
2 tbsp. of freshly squeezed orange juice (1 full or will do)
1 tbsp. of freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ a lemon)
1tbsp.of olive oil
½ inch of peeled and finely chopped ginger
Toss all ingredients together and top with chopped mint leaves.
Eat, Live, Renew!
For other tips on how to stay safe in the sun read our previous article: http://healthyhappyandhilarious.com/?p=117