NUTRITION AGAINST SUNBURN
Sunlight is essential for vitamin D production. However, too much sunexposure can cause serious damage to the skin. Several studies have shown that certain types of food can help to protect the body from the inside out against sunburn. An overview of these foods is set out below.
1. TOMATO PASTE
Tomato paste with olive oil provides protection against acute and potentially long-term sun damage. This emerges from a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology. A powerful antioxidant in tomato paste, called lycopene, is responsible for the prevention of sunburn. Other sources of lycopene are watermelon, pink grapefruit, guava and papaya.
2. YELLOW, ORANGE AND RED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Yellow, orange and red fruits and vegetables such as peppers, pumpkin, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potato, mango, apricots, cantaloupe, papaya and watermelon are rich in beta-carotene. This powerful antioxidant protects the body against free radicals and helps the skin to repair the cells that are damaged by the sun. Research at the Münster University Hospital has shown that beta-carotene provides an SPF of up to 4.
According to a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology the polyphenol ellagic acid in pomegranate seeds has a slight inhibitory effect on skin pigmentation caused by UV irradiation.
4. GREEN TEA
Green tea is also high in polyphenols. Studies at the University of Witten-Herdecke and the University of Manchester have shown that green tea consumption protects the body against damage from UV radiation.
5. SHRIMP, LOBSTER, CRAB AND WILD SALMON
Shrimp, crab, lobster and wild salmon contain the red-pink pigment astaxanthin. The Department of Nutrition at the University College Cork has demonstrated that it offers even better protection against UVA light-induced oxidative stress than beta-carotene.
6. GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and chard are also a panacea against the sun. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that the consumption of green leafy vegetables decreases the risk of squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
7. FATTY FISH
Omega-3 fatty acids in fish like salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines have powerful anti-inflammatory properties. They reduce sundamage and are according to researchers of the Baylor College of Medecine in Houston able to prevent certain types of skin cancer.
8. RAW CHOCOLATE
The flavanols in raw chocolate help to protect the skin from free radical damage and ensure a better hydration. Daily consumption of 20 grams of high-flavanol chocolate increases the ability of the skin to protect against sun damage. This is revealed in a study conducted by the London University of the Arts.