Sunscreen goes a long way in protecting your skin from UV rays that can accelerate skin aging and increase your risk of skin cancers like melanoma--providing you follow a few guidelines. We’ve covered some of these tips on how to choose the best sunscreens in a recent post.
But did you know that the foods you eat can also help protect your skin from the harmful effects of the sun?
Dr. Walter Quan, a melanoma specialist from Cancer Treatment Centers of America, recommends these specific foods for promoting healthy skin cells:
- Citrus fruits – The vitamin C and other antioxidants in oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit help protect your body from free radical damage and promote normal cell development.
- Avocados – This fruit contains another antioxidant called glutathione that discourages the development of skin cancer. Avocados are also a good source of vitamins A, D and E as well as the minerals copper and iron which are all essential nutrients for healthy skin. He suggests adding three to four avocados per week to salads, sandwiches or dips.
- Pumpkin Seeds – Loaded with vitamin E, pumpkin seeds are great toasted as a snack or used as a topping on salads.
- Carrots, Sweet Potatoes and Cantaloupe – Orange colored fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene, the natural form of vitamin A that many reduce the risk of sunburn and the damage it causes.
In addition, Quan says that an overall diet consisting of organic fruits and vegetables, fish, nuts, seeds and legumes as well as nonfat dairy and lean meats can reduce your risk of cancer.
The Best of Both Worlds
There are sunscreens made from soy on the market now so you can go “natural” on the outside too!
Enjoy your summer safely!