May 25, 2013
Best Foods to Heal Sun Damaged Skin
No matter how often you wear your sunglasses, your sunhat, or your sunscreen, if you’re going to stay out in the sun, you’re going to get burned.
Excessive exposure to UV rays can generate an immune response-inflammation in the body – or what you see as a sunburn. Every time you go outside, you expose yourself to the sun’s rays, clouds or no.
Long after that burn has faded and you’ve acquired what looks like “a healthy tan”, the effects of UV exposure could age you faster than you anticipated.
According to experts at Mayo Clinic, sunburns can increase the risk of certain complications and skin related diseases, including “dry, wrinkled skin, liver spots, actinic keratosis, and skin cancer, including melanoma.”
Starting to regret your time in the sun?
Your diet may be able to provide you with a little extra protection and healing in case you slip up this summer. Although it’s no excuse to skip out on the sunscreen, these tasty summer foods are the perfect way to heal and prevent sun damaged skin.
Watermelon is one of the tastiest foods you’ll eat this summer, and it’s definitely a crowd pleaser at any barbecue or get-together, but did you know that it’s also a great food for healing sun damaged skin?
This wonderful melon is rich in lycopene, which can act as an antioxidant and sunscreen at the same time. This cancer-fighting phytonutrient blocks UV light and reduces facial redness while improving cell junctions (which are essential for maintaining moisture and preventing wrinkles).
Watermelon also contains the amino acid Citrulline, which can increase the production of Human Growth Hormone – a natural hormone which may be able to improve energy levels and fight signs of aging.
Lycopene can also be found in apricots, tomatoes, pink grapefruit, red bell peppers, and papaya.
Exposure to UVA and UVB radiation can result the formation of free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that only have one electron instead of two. The loss of the second molecule triggers a chain reaction that can damage cell function and break down the production of collagen.
Fortunately, a few sips of Green Tea a day may be able to help reduce oxidative stress on cells due to the fact that it contains high concentrations of catechins and polyphenols (antioxidants). Green Tea also contains the antioxidant known as EGCG, which has anti-inflammatory properties to help heal sun damaged skin and reduce sensitivity caused by sun exposure.
Not a fan of tea? Try eating strawberries, blue berries, and blackberries – these tasty fruits also contain high concentrations of antioxidants to help fight free radicals.
Fish contains heart-healthy omega 3’s which are essential fatty acids that can boost brain power and protect against inflammation, but that’s not what makes this food a good ingredient for fighting wrinkles.
Salmon is possibly one of the best sources for the carotenoid antioxidant known as astaxanthin – which is supposedly 1,000 times more effective than vitamin E.
In human trials, astaxanthin has proven a potent ingredient in fighting visible signs of UV-aging, both as a supplement and a topical treatment. In a study published by the Journal of Dermatoogical Sciences, astaxanthin can protect against the changes in DNA that are typically triggered by UV exposure, and in a Japanese study, women who consumed 2 mg of astaxanthin daily showed a significant improvement in skin tone and texture after about 4 weeks.
If you can’t stand the taste or smell of fish, then foods such as tomatoes, carrots, cantaloupe, and spinach are all excellent sources of carotenoids.
While you’ll definitely want to shade your skin from the sun this summer, these tasty foods are a great way to ensure that your skin has the nutrients it needs to fight off harmful UV rays and heal sun damaged skin.