What if you could protect your skin from the summer sun by eating your sunscreen? No we're not suggesting that you swallow a tablespoon of SPF 30, instead Tanya Zucherbrot, registered dietitian and the creator of F-Factor, finds that certain foods can act as nature's natural sunscreen, helping to protect you from harmful rays and even stave off sun damage.
Zucherbrot told Katie Couric on Katie's Take that eating certain foods containing antioxidants will help to fight free radical damage caused by the sun. To protect your skin, here's what to add to your summer menu:
Zucherbrot recommends that you stick to the summer favorites. Blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, apples and tomatoes are all high in antioxidants that help skin stay radiant and resistant to damage. Even cooked tomatoes can have healthy benefits for your skin.
The best part? Even sweets can keep rays at bay! Zucherbrot finds that an ounce of dark chocolate can contain enough of the anitoxidant polyphenol to help prevent sun damage and improve skin elasticity, keeping your skin soft and supple. "In fact, a recent study in the Journal of Nutrition found that people who ate dark chocolate had less sun damage than those who didn't," says Zucherbrot.
Eating all these foods are preventive to sun damage but if you goofed and got sunburn on the beach, there are foods that can play a curative role for that as well. "There are two groups of vitamins that can reduce inflammation caused by a sunburn: vitamin C and vitamin E," says Zucherbrot. Papaya, avocados, peanut butter and ground flax seeds can all help soothe your sore skin.