By:
16-07-2015

Ten Foods To Feed Your Tan, Protect Your Skin And Prevent Sunburn

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Tanning safely and protecting ourselves from sunburn are important concerns for many of us in the summer months. To avoid getting burnt and reduce your risk of skin cancer, health professionals recommend using high factor sunblock, covering up and reducing sun exposure. Fortunately, there are loads of tasty foods that can boost the effects of these safety measures, and keep your skin and other vital organs healthy and happy all through the year. Imagine a world where a delicious pizza followed by a tropical fruit salad and an espresso could help protect your skin from the ravages of sunburn... Great news - that world exists, and we live in it! Here's a mouthwatering selection of foods and ingredients that do double duty as natural sun protection. Warning! This article is not a substitute for medical advice and we do not claim that any food can replace sunscreen. The effects will take a few weeks to kick in, meaning that sun-protection foods should be enjoyed regularly as part of a healthy diet.

1. Tomatoes

There is plenty of evidence for the health benefits of tomatoes. Nutritionists have run controlled studies which confirm that tomatoes, particularly cooked tomatoes, can have beneficial effects for sun safety. The ultra-violet (UV) component of sunlight causes chemical reactions in your skin, damaging skin tissue and altering the structure of proteins such as DNA. This can lead to aging skin and even skin cancer. Your skin's natural defence is to recruit small molecules to absorb the dangerous oxygen molecules - known in the trade as 'oxygen quenching'. The same molecules also help to repair damaged skin. Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, the most powerful oxygen quencher. Other good sources of lycopene are watermelon, papaya, pink guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit.
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2. Eggs

Egg yolks contain high levels of vitamin D, which has been shown to help protect skin from the sun. Somewhat paradoxically, the sun itself is another source of vitamin D. Specialised cells convert sunlight into vitamin D, which which draws T cells into the skin, improving the skin's immune response and boosting sun protection and cancer prevention. However, your skin only absorbs vitamin D from the sun during the first few minutes of exposure, meaning that foods are a better source. Vitamin D is widely available in other foods too. Sources include oily fish, such as salmon, sardines and mackerel, as well as cheese, fortified fat spreads, fortified breakfast cereals and mushrooms.
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