Most of my patients know I’m outdoors year round doing a variety of sports. I’m not sure if its climate change or age but it seems I’m more susceptible to the effects of the sun these days and as a result I’m using more sunscreen than I used to and doing everything I can to reduce my exposure. This includes wearing rash guards that have a stated SPF rating, hats and…. Eating right. Yes that’s correct eat your way to healthy food, here are ten foods now that help with skin repair and protection so you can eat your way to healthy skin. Here are the ten best foods to protect your skin.
Broccoli: This super-food, along with cabbage and brussel sprouts, contains isothiocyanates, enzymes that have been shown to be anti-carcinogenic. They are also believed to boost the production of protective enzymes that defend cells against UV damage.
Tomatoes: “Lycopene, a potent antioxidant found in tomatoes, has many sun-protecting benefits,” explains Los Angeles-based dermatologist, Dr. Annie Chiu. A German study recently examined the benefits of store-bought tomato paste. After only 10 weeks, subjects who ingested the paste experienced significantly less redness from the sun compared to those who did not.
Coconut Oil: We’ve all heard about beauty products with coconut oil in them, but did you know that if you eat this must-try miracle food it can nourish your skin from the inside out? “Coconuts contains lauric acid, which has antimicrobial properties, and the saturated fat in coconut oil also protects the skin from UV damage from the sun,” says Dr. Lipman.
Goji Berries: Animal studies suggest that these berries “may provide significant protection against oxidative stress induced by UVA radiation and may reduce sunburn-induced inflammation and swelling.
Indian Food: In much of the tasty Indian food. Curcurmin, which is found in the cuisine’s most common spice turmeric, is a polyphenol that may prevent UV exposure induced cellular damage and cell death.
Green Tea: Instead of coffee, opt for this antioxidant-rich beverage. “Green tea contains polyphenol antioxidants, which are UV protective,” says Dr. Chiu. A double-blind, placebo controlled study demonstrated that consumption of green tea over 12 weeks significantly decreased sun-induced redness in the skin.
Oranges: Vitamin C abundant produce protects against UV light exposure and can reduce inflammation associated with sunburns, explains Dr. Chiu. It is also known to decrease the activity of enzymes activated by UV exposure. Meaning: your skin’s collagen will stay strong and firm looking.
Mushrooms: Fungai is abundant in beta-glucan, which may provide photoprotective qualities by decreasing UV-induced oxidative stress, explains Dr. Chiu.
Dark Chocolate: Satisfy your sweet tooth with dark chocolate or cocoa, both of which are rich in flavonoids. “Flavonoids have powerful antioxidant activity that can help inhibit harmful UV-triggered chemical pathways that may lead to skin cancer,” says Dr. Chiu.
Collared Greens: Eat your leafy greens! According to Dr. Frank Lipman, an expert in integrative medicine, they contain beta-carotenes, which contribute to the growth and repair of body tissues and may also protect your skin against sun damage.
So if you are like me and outside all the time, PLEASE use sunscreen AND… for Gods sake, try to eat right as well. You’ll be glad you did.
Now get out there and get moving…. Thanks for reading, Dr. Camp