As you have fun out in the sun this summer holiday, the last thing you would want in your way is pain from being sunburnt. How dampening it would be if you have to stay indoors (while all others are out there enjoying themselves), because your skin can no longer take the scorch of the sun.
Fortunately, besides using a non-toxic sunscreen, there are foods you can eat to acquire extra protection against sunburn.
Almond is often added to skin creams because of its richness in vitamin E. A study found that 14mg of vitamin E (equivalent to 20 almonds) daily can reduce your risk of sunburn substantially.
A Hamdard University study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that almond oil applied to skin not only protects the skin from sun exposure, it can also help reverse skin damage and aging that has already occurred.
Research from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University found that pomegranates are rich in ellagic acid, which can protect your skin against the damage caused by UV radiation.
The anti-inflammatory fruit is also rich in polyphenol antioxidants (e.g. catechins and anthocyanins) which can strengthen the upper layers of your skin, increasing its defense against the harmful rays of the sun.
Both green and black teas are rich in polyphenol antioxidants, which can defend you against the harmful rays of the sun. Green tea also contains tannic acid that can help soothe sunburn pain (if you do get scorched by the sun).
Studies suggest consuming 2 cups of tea every day for the added shield against UV radiation.
A study has found that a quarter cup of tomato paste daily for 10 days was able to reduce skin reddening from exposure to UV radiation by 35%. It seems that tomatoes are rich in carotenoids (especially lycopene), which plants use for sunscreen purposes. These carotenoids, also powerful antioxidants, can shield and reduce the negative effects of the sun’s UV rays on your skin.
Other carotenoid-rich foods that you will find useful against sunburn include sweet potato, watermelon and pink guava.
5. Red grapes
Red grapes are rich in flavonoid quercitrin, which a study in the Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology journal found to reduce oxidative DNA damage and inflammation brought about by exposure to UV radiation.
In addition, resveratrol found in grapes can give you a healthier cardiovascular system, while the polyphenols and potassium in grapes can help keep your blood pressure in control.
1. Collins, Elise Marie. An A-Z Guide to Healing Foods: A Shopper’s Companion. San Francisco, California: Conari Press, 2009. Print.
Cindy L. TJOL is trained in Psychology, Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine. She has several years of experience writing on natural health on the internet. Follow her on her blog and read her other articles at Insights On Health.com.