Foods with natural SPF qualities to nourish your skin and protect from the sun
Check out food items that you can add to your diet to receive a healthy dose of nutrients that can help arm your skin against the sun.
Exposure to sunlight can produce both acute and long-term effects. But did you know 90% of our skin ageing is due to the sun? Too much exposure to the sun can accelerate signs of ageing and other skin issues. The UV rays reach the deeper layers of the skin, causing sunspots, pigmentation, and premature ageing. Therefore, it is essential to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Daily use of SPF can protect your skin's health and appearance by preventing sunburns. And one easy way to block the sun’s harmful rays is to slather on sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30, and reapply every 2-3 hours.
However, there’s one crucial step that might be missing in our sun-protection routine: Diet! Diet is an often-overlooked part of how we take care of our skin following our day-to-day routine. Diet plays an important role in helping our skin become resilient by providing us with nutrients that have SPF qualities. (Also read: Summer skincare: Beauty experts list what to look for and avoid in a sunscreen )
"While sunscreens are the most feasible bet, there are certain food items that can help build up your body's natural sun protection. Eating a combination of these nutrient-dense foods daily can provide your skin with an extra layer of security. Nuts like almonds are a powerhouse of nutrition that are also anti-inflammatory and help the skin to recover from the sun," says, Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, Skin Expert, and Cosmetologist. She further shared with HT Lifestyle, some food items you can add to your diet to receive a healthy dose of nutrients that can help arm your skin against the sun.
Just a handful of almonds are power packed with a variety of nutrients. Consuming almonds may be one way to help your skin from within and support the other things you already do, like wearing sunscreen, to protecting your skin from UVB rays. Almonds are also rich in Vitamin E which is good for our skin health. Daily almond intake could also increase the skin’s resistance to UVB light. Consumption of a handful of almonds (23 approx.) in your daily dietary routine along with fruits and vegetables can help boost your skin’s resistance to UV rays naturally.
Green leafy vegetables are an incredible source of antioxidants that can ward off damage from UV rays. Dark leafy greens like spinach, kale, etc., give the skin a dose of vitamin E when consumed, protecting it from the sun and preventing pigmentation. Lutein and zeaxanthin are specific antioxidants found in greens that prevent skin wrinkles and protect from harmful sun rays.
The dark leafy greens are great beta-carotene-packed additions to your meals and breakfast smoothies. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient for skin health. Studies show that after 10 weeks of regular supplementation, beta-carotene provides natural sun protection.
3. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant that helps ward off UV rays and pollution. And vitamin C-loaded foods protect against free radical damage from the sun that can cause skin ageing. Studies have found that a long-term intake of vitamin C, together with vitamin E, can reduce the potential for sunburn and that higher intakes of vitamin C are associated with fewer wrinkles and less dryness.
Some of the citrus fruits you can add to your diet are lemons, kiwi, oranges, grapefruit, and much more. A pigment called Lycopene, found in oranges and grapefruits is also known for its photoprotective benefits. Lycopene goes a long way in giving your skin sun protection.
So, make sure to include these foods to give your skin the sun protection it deserves!