Superfoods: An Internal Sun Defense System

Foods rich in antioxidants have the ability to prevent and heal cellular damage caused from ultraviolet rays.
By Cara Lucas


Foods rich in antioxidants have the ability to prevent and heal cellular damage caused from ultraviolet rays. Here are a few of the major players in the game:

 
Watermelon: This food gets its bright color from a nutrient called lycopene, which is full of antioxidant power that helps protect from the sun. In general, fruits and vegetables with deep pink and red colors are rich in lycopene and provide a natural sun-protection factor.
 
Green, Leafy Vegetables:
Spinach, broccoli, kale, and chard are just a few examples of green vegetables whose main antioxidant, lutein, acts as a light filter to protect your eyes and skin from harmful rays. Studies show that they also help to cut squamous cell skin cancer by 50-percent.
 
Green Tea: With high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, green tea helps neutralize the effects of a sunburn. Green tea is included in the top ten foods that fight against cancer—skin cancer included.
 
Fish: Fish is loaded with beneficial Omega-3 fatty acids that help reduce the risk of skin damage, inflammation due to sunburn, and potentially, skin cancer.
 
Tomatoes: Lycopene in tomatoes becomes more concentrated after heating, so it is best to eat these cooked. They also contain a significant amount of vitamin C, which does a great job of fighting sun damage.
 
Almonds: Loaded with vitamin E, just a few almonds pack a punch that will help protect you from the sun for hours. Vitamin E protects against free-radical damage that can harm your skin, as well as your internal organs.
 
Dark Chocolate: This superfood has at least 60 percent cocoa content and is full of antioxidants. It neutralizes oxidative damage caused by UV radiation and decreases the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.