Protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays is a top priority if you want healthier, younger-looking skin. Chronic sun exposure can result in skin cancer, immunosuppression, and oxidative stress. Certain foods can actually help you defend your skin and boost its natural sun protection. These foods contain special antioxidants that reduce the impact of the sun’s UV rays, thereby limiting damage to your skin at the cellular level and even helping to repair existing cellular damage.
In addition to applying sunscreen daily, boost your skin’s natural sun protection by eating these 10 antioxidant-rich foods.
Brussels sprouts belong to the group of cruciferous vegetables containing the antioxidant sulforaphane. Sulforaphane is a natural compound that defends the body against ultraviolet radiation. Other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, also contain this beneficial antioxidant.
Citrus fruit are known for their high Vitamin C content. This vitamin is often linked to immune support, but it also acts as a powerful antioxidant that protects against free radical damage that is caused by sun exposure. Eat more citrus fruit like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes for greater antioxidant protection.
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to preventing skin cancer because they help protect the skin from free radical damage caused by the sun. If you are burned by the sun, the anti-inflammatory powers of the Omega-3s in chia seeds can also ease any inflammation that occurs.
This blue-green plant algae is often used in powder form as an addition to smoothies or green juice. Spirulina contains a potent antioxidant called astaxanthin, which defends the body against free radical damage. As an added bonus, astaxanthin also helps the body remove harmful toxins.
Papaya is a tropical orange fruit that is an excellent source of the antioxidant carotenoids. Found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables, carotenoids limit the negative effects of UVB radiation by scavenging for free radicals inside the body. These antioxidants also benefit skin health by supporting the growth and development of new skin cells.
Oats contain a group of compounds called tocotrienols, belonging to the Vitamin E family. These compounds neutralize free radical activity stimulated by sun exposure at a rapid pace, enabling them to protect your skin from absorbing UV radiation.
Dark chocolate contains natural antioxidant compounds called flavonoids. Flavonoids act as form of natural sun protectant, preventing UV damage. To get the most health benefits from dark chocolate, go for organic sources with at least 70 percent cacao content.
Cabbage is yet another green vegetable known for its high antioxidant content. Green cabbage contains the compound sulforaphane while red cabbage contains the compound anthocyanin. Both compounds work to prevent free radical damage caused by sun exposure.
Sun exposure can trigger inflammation, one of the primary players in premature aging. The antioxidant gluthathione is proven to reduce inflammation, which leaves your skin healthier and younger-looking.
Sun exposure stimulates the production of enzymes called matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) that contribute to collagen breakdown. As a result, your skin may become rough, wrinkled, and less elastic. Raspberries are a great source of ellagic acid, which impedes the production of harmful MMP enzymes.
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Stay Ever Well,
Lynne + Renee