Although summer is coming to an end, sunshine and UV radiation still exist. Sunscreen protection of skin is ensured with the use of sunscreen creams. However, in nature there are many nutrients that protect, shield and counteract sun's negative effects.
There are many studies that have identified those natural agents that can protect skin from UVA-UVB radiation. Let's see what are the main categories of food that help skin to function on its own as a natural sunscreen and where we can find them!
Antioxidants and flavonoids
One of the negative effects of ultraviolet radiation is the oxidative damage of cells, which results in long-term damage of skin, such as premature aging, dermatitis, cancer etc. Antioxidants and flavonoids have the property to be oxidized in order to protect cells and DNA from oxidative damage. Additionally, they can also absorb UV radiation and help skin heal faster. The main antioxidants and flavonoids found in nature are vitamins A, C, E as well as resveratrol. So eat in abundance, lemons, oranges, grapes, strawberries, cherries, red wine, green tea and chocolate with high percentage of cocoa.
Carotenoids are a wide range of natural components that give fruit and vegetables the characteristic yellow, orange and red colour. They are mainly found in tomatoes, carrots, peppers, watermelons, tomatoes, spinach and apricots. They have strong antioxidant activity and the main representatives are β-carotene, lycopene and lutein. Daily carotenoid intake helps skin deal with damages caused by sun, counteract carcinogens by preventing skin cancer and maintain hydration of skin. Carotenoids work better when taken together and not individually, as is the case of vitamins of b complex.
Zinc, vitamin C and selenium are trace elements that, despite their antioxidant action, they prevent and help in the reconstruction of skin, as they participate in the process of collagen and elastin production. Rich sources include fish, seafood, vegetables, and plenty of fruits and vegetables.
Polyunsaturated fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are mainly found in big fish (salmon, parsley, tuna, etc.) and less in plant sources (linseed oil and nuts). According to studies, the abundant consumption of omega 3 fatty acids reduces damage caused by UV radiation, also helping restore the epidermis faster after sunburn.
For a healthy and beautiful skin, do not forget apart from your sunscreen to take care also of your nutrition!