The most important thing about summer is the food. Hotdogs and burgers on the grill and the seasonal fruits and vegetables that are ripe for the picking. As much as we love the summer sun, it is still dangerous and can be harmful to our skin. We still put on sun cream, wear hats, and wear sun-protective clothing, but, did you know that certain foods can help heal your skin from sun damage and when possible can be eaten raw.
In the previous article, we talked about the 9 nutrients your skin needs to be protected from the harmful sun’s rays. Here is the top 9 food that will protect you from the sun and perfect for the summer.
When we think of vitamin C, our minds think of any citrus fruit like oranges, lemon, limes, and grapefruit. But did you know that guava contains vitamin C as well? In fact, guava contains about 5 times more of vitamin C as much as any citrus fruit.
Guava contains about 228.3 mg of vitamin C and has antioxidants that attack free radicals and helps boost your immune system. Vitamin C has been known to battle scurvy. Plus guava can help improve your skin. By eating the fruit or using the guava leaves, your skin will be toned and the antioxidants from the fruit can keep your skin glowing, fight wrinkles and reduce signs of premature aging.
Who doesn’t love potatoes? We eat them as fries, baked, sautéed, mashed and use them as filling for pies. The sweet potato is no exception. There are many variations of sweet potatoes as they come in orange, white, and purple, depending on where you get them from and which region.
The sweet potatoes we are familiar with have an orange hue due to the carotenoids; which gives us that lovely orange color and has antioxidants to protect our skin from sun damage. Not only that but; sweet potatoes are very high in vitamin A, which is very good when they are cooked. Some people say that potatoes are known to be very starchy and can be used to soothe a sunburn by drawing out the heat from the skin.
Strawberries and Blueberries:
Both of these berries are great on their own but together, they are the dynamic duo to help our bodies combat the sun. Blueberries are richly filled with antioxidants as they combat the free radicals in our systems and can reduce the chances of cancer showing up.
Strawberries are really great as they are called “nature’s natural sunblock.” They contained about 108% of vitamin C as well as ellagic acid, which cleans up the free radicals and reduce sun-damaged pigmentation. The Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry stated that strawberries have anthocyanins, which gives the fruit its lovely red color to protect our cells.
Who doesn’t love green tea? Not only it contains L-theanine, but it has many astounding health benefits that are wonderful and protects our body. Green tea can be consumed or used as a topical cream to soothe and hydrate your skin from the harsh sun rays. Green tea is jammed packed with vitamins B2 and E, as well as large amounts of polyphenol including, EGCG (Epigallocatechin Gallate).
These polyphenols help our inflammatory system repair our DNA from anything harsh in our bodies. Plus green tea has been known to lower the risk of various types of cancers.
Oatmeal is one of those foods that we all eat for breakfast. However, did you know that oatmeal can be used to soothe sunburns and exfoliate sun-damaged skin? Not only that but when oatmeal is finely grounded it is known as “colloidal oatmeal.”
You may have seen this type of oatmeal in the health/medical section in your local stores and it may be called, “Aveeno.” Colloidal oatmeal has been approved by the FDA since 2003 and has been used as a topical ointment for anyone with eczema. Anyone with eczema experiences an abundance of itchiness when they are overly exposed by the sun’s rays or due to the heat of the summer knows this all too well.
With colloidal oatmeal, it helps relieve the symptoms of eczema by being applied with water and gently patting the topical on the source of eczema to lower the inflamed skin, thus calming it down.
Cucumbers are used for anything that we can think of. In the spa, in our salads, or as a wonderful snack. This green vegetable is packed with vitamins C and K as well as, caffeic acid and potassium. Not only that but cucumbers are made up of 96% of water, which is very refreshing and great for the skin. Since our bodies lose water when we sweat and cucumbers actually replenishes our water intake and helps cool off our bodies when we are sunburned.
Just like strawberries, tomatoes contain lycopene, which gives tomatoes that gorgeous red color and has vitamins C. K1, and B9 and potassium. Tomatoes can be eaten raw and are rich with antioxidants that help balance our bodies pH balance. As well as, protecting our skin from the sun.
Oh, watermelon… not only you are the most consumed fruit for the 4th of July but you are one of the best summer fruits to be consumed. Watermelons contain not only vitamins A, B6 and C; but they also contained lycopene like tomatoes. Which helps our skin from photoaging from the sun but it’s in the top 30 most hydrating foods, next to cucumbers with 92% of water for excellent hydration properties for our skin.
Carrots are not only good for our eyes but did you know that carrots are jammed pack with beta-carotene, which turns to vitamin A when we eat it. Plus the sun exposure gives carrots vitamin C to help us protect our skin. Carrots have a wonderful source of carotenoids to produce photoprotection for our skin health.
Here at the clinic, we strive to inform our patients about the nutrients that food provides to our bodies. As well as, making our patients feel good with whole, nutritious options. Whether it is by adjustments or leading them to different food options for a healthy life, these top 9 foods not only help protect your skin from the sun but they also taste really good. So enjoy the summer months but remember to eat your photoprotective food.
A healthy diet is the cornerstone of good health. You should maintain a diet that includes lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. The key is choosing fresh, seasonal foods that are local to your area. Foods grown in their season have certain vitamins and minerals that the body needs for the time of year in which they are ripe and ready.
14 Powerful Health Benefits of Guava: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-guava.html
Authors’ Perspective: What is the Optimum Intake of Vitamin C in Humans?: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10408398.2011.649149scroll=top&needAccess=true&journalCode=bfsn20&
10 Proven Health Benefits of Blueberries: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-proven-benefits-of-blueberries
Strawberry extract protects against UVA rays: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2012-08/f-sf-sep080312.php
Soothe the Central Nervous System with L-Theanine: https://blog.bioticsresearch.com/soothe-the-central-nervous-system-with-l-theanine
10 Proven Benefits of Green Tea: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-green-tea
Anti-inflammatory activities of colloidal oatmeal (Avena sativa) contribute to the effectiveness of oats in the treatment of itch associated with dry, irritated skin: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25607907
Contribution of Water from Food and Fluids to Total Water Intake: Analysis of a French and UK Population Surveys: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084017/
Tomatoes protect against the development of UV-induced keratinocyte carcinoma via metabolomic alterations: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5506060/
Watermelon lycopene and allied health claims: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464475/
Photoprotection by dietary carotenoids: concept, mechanisms, evidence and future development: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21953695