Seriously, nothing beats actual sunscreen to protect your face and body from sunburn, skin damage and potentially even skin cancer. But summer is effectively here, and that means long days in the sun. You know you need to slop on the sunscreen for protection from harmful UV rays, but did you know there are certain foods you can eat boost that protection from within?
Stock up on these foods at home and eat them regularly, whether you’re hanging out at home or (finally) gearing up for your next trip!
1 – Strawberries
Behold! A magical fruit to help protect you from the inside, and relieve your pain if you’re already suffering with a sunburn.
Eat strawberries for their high vitamin C levels, which help kill off free radicals (which have a big role in the formation of cancer) your body produces after your skin has gotten too much sun.
Already overdid it? Mash some ripe strawberries into a paste and spread it over your sunburn; you can rinse it off after a few minutes so you’re not sticky all day. The tannins in strawberries relieve the pain of a sunburn (and they smell yummy, too!).
2 – Tomatoes
Have you ever thought about why tomatoes can sit out in the sun all day and not burn? Well, it’s because they contain lycopene. Lycopene is like a natural sunscreen – it absorbs free radicals and it protects against DNA damage. For maximum absorption seek it out in a paste or sauce rather than raw.
3 – Pomegranates
One of the oldest natural remedies known to man, pomegranates contain lots of antioxidants. One of them, ellagic acid, is especially powerful in protecting against against cell damage from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. In one study adding a pomegranate extract to your daily routine in conjunction with wearing sunscreen increased the SPF by 20%!
4 – Green Tea
Green tea is packed with antioxidants, like catechins – a polyphenol that can help protect you against damage from UV radiation. And, save that tea bag! Apply the wet tea bag on a sunburn to reduce the number of sunburn cells, thus cutting the sting of the burn. If you’ve burned all over, toss some green tea bags in a bath and soak for full body relief.
5 – Greens
Eat your greens – spinach, kale and other dark greens – for a healthy dose of Vitamin E to protect your skin from the sun and prevent pigmentation.
6 – Watermelon
The pinker, the better. Watermelons are high in lycopene, so they protect you from free radicals that result from sun exposure and pollution. And, they have vitamin C, and that helps to quickly repair damaged skin cells and redness.
Carrots are packed with beta-carotene. It’s what makes them such a rich orange. Beta-carotene also helps protect your skin against the free radical damage from the sun, and that can protect you from a sunburn.
8 – Kiwi
Vitamin C is a super nutrient for your skin – it helps stimulate the fibroblasts to quickly respond to and repair any damaged skin cells, collagen and strengthen capillaries. And, kiwis have even more Vitamin C than oranges.
9 – Red Peppers
Hooray for red bell peppers – the sun care multi-taskers! Red bell peppers contain both lycopene and beta-carotene, so they help reduce sunburn intensity and like a natural sunscreen, protect you from UV damage. Just be sure to opt for red – the green ones are not ideal substitutes.
10 – Red Grapes
Red and purple grapes contain resveratrol. It’s a polyphenol that helps prevent cell damage that can lead to skin cancer. And, red and purple grapes contain contain quercetin. Quercetin has been found to lessen the damage caused by UVB exposure. Green grapes also contain resveratrol, though not nearly as much, so seek out the red and purple ones instead.
In theory, this would apply to red wine as well. But keep in mind there have been studies that have shown drinking in the sun is associated with higher sunburn rates.
Rise & Rove is a modern group travel company with curated, led trips across the globe for like-minded, rad women. Small group size, unique activities, boutique accommodations, experiences with locals. Come solo, leave with new friends!
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