Did you know that you can boost your skin's natural protection against the sun's damaging effects by eating certain foods? You'll of course still need to wear sun protection, but eating a various diet and keeping an eye on foods rich on lycopene, carotene and antioxidants, will help your skin protect itself against the harmful sun rays.
Here are three ingredients to look for and where to find them:
Lycopene absorbs UVA and UVB radiation. It is beneficial to eat lycopene daily for a several weeks before summer, to boost skins ability to become more photoprotective. It's also a good idea to add lycopene rich foods to your summer diet. Even though lycopene boosts your skins natural sun protection, it doesn't entirely add up to protect you from skin damage caused by UV rays, so you'll still need to wear SPF.
Where to find lycopene? Watermelon is rich in lycopene and makes a thirst drenching snack during the summer heat. Tomatoes are a great source for lycopene as well.
Beta Carotene is a plant pigment with powerful antioxidant properties and a ingredient our bodies convert to vitamin A (retinol). Beta carotene also improves cognitive functions and may help promote eye health.
Where to find beta carotene? Look for red, orange and yellow foods, as well as dark, leafy greens. Carrots, sweet potatoes, kale and spinach as an example are a great source for beta carotene. Add a little oil when eating these to help the absorption.
Antioxidants are produced both by our bodies and found in foods, and help protect cells from damage by combatting free radicals. Antioxidants are vitamins A, C and E, selenium and carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin). If free-radicals levels get to high in our bodies, it causes imbalance and leads to oxidative stress (cellular and tissue damage). In the long run oxidative stress contributes to chronic diseases. Fortunately an antioxidant rich diet helps our bodies to neutralize free radicals.
Where to find antioxidants? Blueberries, especially wild blueberry, are rich in antioxidants, especially vitamin C, and help our bodies protect us against free radicals. Strawberries, green tea, raspberries, kale and cocoa to name a few. You can even choose the antioxidant rich alternative Kombucha as your beverage for summer nights. As kombucha is a fermented green and/or black tea, you'll get the holistic health benefits from tea and on top of that, a dose of gut-, brain- and skin-loving probiotics.
The Grapefruit Hops is a new flavor for this season by The Good Guys. I'll admit I've only tasted their kombucha once at Helsinki Coffee Festival, so I was very curious to try out the new flavor that I got as a PR gift. The Grapefruit Hops comes with a fresh summery taste, the first crisp notes turn into a soft, tart grapefruit, and ends into a syrupy floral note before the citrus becoming to prominent. It's maybe a bit too sweet for my taste as I seldom drink sugary beverages, the taste resembles more of a cider. Kombucha gifted.*
(ps. kolla in listan på deras återförsäljare för att veta var i Vasa du kan få tag på denna dryck)
I made a few tasty skin-loving smoothies to cool of with in the summer heat, whilst enjoying the beneficial ingredients your skin needs to boost it's own sun protection:
Melon Smoothie Drink
Watermelon (amount of your choice, the more the watery or läskande it'll be - this smoothie actually ads up to a fresh summer drink as well)
A dash of strawberries
A dash of blueberries
A few baby carrots
Summer Beauty Smoothie
A dash of sea buckthorns
A hand full of baby carrots
A hand full of strawberries
Kale (amount of your choice - as you can see, kale is not my favorite, so I just added a little home grown baby kale as topping)
Add a dash of olive oil, and a few walnuts as topping, these will provide you with omega 3 fatty acids
Let me know which of these recepies is your favourite, if you try them out!
Interesting reads related to the topic:Time-Restricted Feeding Shifts the Skin Circadian Clock and Alters UVB-Induced DNA Damage
https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(17)30988-9Polyphenols and sunburn
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27618035Beta Carotene and other carotenoids in protection from sunlight
https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/96/5/1179S/4577133Skin wrinkling - can foods make a difference?