Fruits and vegetables can protect you from the sun.
It doesn’t seem like it is but it is Summer time in Ireland! The sun didn’t show up in the last few days, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to worry about the ultraviolet B rays from the sun. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the country. Just over 10,000 new cases were diagnosed this year.
Hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen lotions are important arms against the damage caused by the sun. But something you can’t forget is to eat healthy foods. Studies have shown that antioxidants like lycopene, vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium can help boost your natural protection against the UVB rays.
Tomatoes and grapefruits are rich in lycopene, the carotenoid or pigment that makes these fruits red. In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, 10 women ate five tablespoons of tomato paste in olive oil every day for 12 weeks. They were exposed to UV rays before and after. The volunteers experienced a 33% increase in protection against sunburn. The study concluded lycopene was the reason behind their protection.
Sweet potatoes and carrots are veggies rich in beta-carotene, and good sources of selenium, which helps to preserve tissue elasticity.
Studies suggest that vitamin C have some anti-inflammatory effects. So, during the Summer, berries (particularly strawberries), oranges and bell peppers must be on your diet.
Vitamin E is another antioxidant that helps with inflammation, which happens when the skin suffers UV damage. Nuts and seeds, particularly almonds and sunflower seeds are where you can find it.
Now you know, the next time you go to a picnic or enjoy the sun on the beach take some vegetables and fruits with you.