We all know how hot the summer can be in Cyprus. Which is why it’s important to always be protected from the sun with sunscreen, hats and sunglasses, and avoiding the hottest time of the day from 11am-3pm.
But did you know, what you put inside your body can also help protect you from the sun? Our diet plays a key role in increasing the skin’s ability to protect itself and even heal from UV damage from sun exposure. And certain foods and food groups are more effective than others.
Before we go into which foods to eat to protect the skin against the sun, let’s first find out how the magic works.
HOW IT WORKS
Certain food types are rich in antioxidants that fight the free radicals produced through sun expose which in turn cause skin damage including premature aging. Free radicals do this by stealing electrons from healthy cells in the body and damaging them in the process. The job of the antioxidants it to replace these missing electrons. So when your diet is healthy and plant-rich, your body is guaranteed a good supply of antioxidants, protecting your skin against those nasty UV rays.
YOUR SKIN SAVING FOOD LIST
Beta-carotenes: Carrots, sweet potatoes, mangos and melons are all packed full of beta-carotene. Known to provide natural sun protection, beta-carotene also converts into skin friendly Vitamin A in our bodies.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Especially high in foods such as fatty fish, nuts and seeds, the mighty Omega 3s are powerful anti-inflammatories, which in turn help protect the skin against free radical induced sun damage. It’s even been shown to help prevent skin cancer. Nuts are also high sources of skin protecting vitamins such as A and E.
Dark Chocolate: As if you needed a reason to eat more chocolate, the dark variety is high in flavonoids – a powerful antioxidant that protects against and even reduces skin damage caused by the sun, while also helping improve circulation and keeping the skin hydrated.
Tomatoes, Peppers and Watermelon: The antioxidant lycopene that gives tomatoes, bell peppers and watermelons their distinctive vibrant colours is also known to absorb UV radiation. When consumed regularly, these lycopene rich foods can act as a sunblock, while also giving the skin an anti-aging boost.
Blueberries: Little powerhouses full of potent free-radical fighting antioxidants, blueberries help prevent skin damage caused by sun exposure and are also packed with wrinkle preventing Vitamin C.
Black and Green Tea: Green and black tea both contain high levels of polyphenols that protect against UV radiation and stop cancer development. Green tea is also packed full of the powerful antioxidant EGCG which protects against skin cancer. Regular tea drinking also helps the skin retain its collagen and can lower the risk of melanoma.
Cruciferous Vegetables: Not only are the Cruciferous family – think broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and cabbage – super high in powerful, free-radical fighting antioxidants, they also contain sulphoraphane, a compound known for its anti-cancer benefits. Cauliflower contains alpha-amino acids which act as a natural sun block by helping absorb UV radiation.
Leafy Greens: The darker leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and swiss chard, are filled with the antioxidants which provide natural skin protection and can prevent premature skin aging and even skin cancer. While fresh green herbs like basil and rosemary are high in antioxidants known for fighting free radicals and protecting the skin.
Wondering where to buy foods that protect the skin from cancer in Cyprus? Shop all these healthy superfoods at PRINOS farm & deli, either in-store in Larnaca and Nicosia, or on our newly launched e-shop ➡ https://shop.prinos.eu/