Is it possible to protect and reverse sun damage with the foods we eat?
The short answer is YES -- focus on eating foods rich with nutrients, anti-oxidants, omega 3s and anti-inflammatory properties. An added bonus to feeling better, a healthy diet can help boost natural sun protection, reverse signs of aging, and protect and maintain healthy skin.
If you want to give it a try, here's a list of food and their health benefit which I compiled from several different websites listed at the bottom of this page.
Sweet potatoes or carrots - are full of Beta-Carotene
Brewed, fresh green tea - contains Catechins (anti-inflammatory, anti-aging) and antioxidant Polyphenols plus bonus, tea helps to speed up metabolism
Sunflower seeds, nuts, eggs, green leafy vegetables, avocados, and whole grains - are full of Vitamin E and Quercetin
Red foods, the redder the better, like tomatoes - are rich in Lycopene which is easier absorbed when cooked (ie: tomato paste, juice, soups and sauces)
Watermelon - also contains Vitamins A and C
Red grapes - contain Phytonutrients, Proanthocyanidins, and olyphenols which are found in the grape
Salmon, tuna, walnuts, flaxseed, hemp, chia seeds - all contain healthy fats and Omega 3s plus bonus, snapper contains Omega 3s and the mineral Selenium
Asparagus - is full of Vitamin E
Water - you know this: good hydration is essential to healthy skin. But did you know dehydrated skin is more susceptible to sun damage?
Grape seed oil - is high in Resveratrol
Kiwi, strawberries, oranges plus citrus fruit like lemons, limes, grapefruit too - all full of Vitamin C
Pomegranate - is high in antioxidants, Ellagic Acid and Glutathione
Dark chocolate made of 65% or more cacao - it's high in Flavenoids
Leafy greens like lettuce, kale, spinach and swiss chard – these contain Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Turmeric – antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Olive oil – healthy fats, Omega 3s
Soy – contains Isoflavones which boost collagen
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and bok choy – contain Sulforaphane which protects from free radicals
As always, be aware of moderation and remember to monitor your sugar intake as some of the foods on this list are high in natural sugars.