Wouldn’t it be so nice if we could step out in the sun without having to bother about the damage that it causes to our skin? Well, that’s a distant dream. But, we can’t confine ourselves to the four walls of darkness and stay away from the sunlight. The beaches are calling, the gardens are shining bright, and the bright sunny skies are inviting you for a good sun-kissed picture. With all that happening, you can’t put away venturing out in the sun, can you?
Foods That Can Increase Sun Tolerance
A diet that is rich in healthy fats (like avocados), and antioxidants (like berries) acts like a natural sunscreen. On the contrary, a diet that is all about sugar, oils, and devoid of any fruits and vegetables, or vitamins and minerals (that’s what the average unhealthy diet looks like) is a direct ticket for your skin to enter the world of sunburns, associated skin inflammation, tanning, and in some cases even skin cancer (1).
We definitely can’t and we wouldn’t want you to stop yourself from getting out in the sun either. We are big proponents of the sun as it’s our primary source of vitamin D (2). But protection is important (of all kinds). Protection from the sun isn’t just about limiting the exposure, wearing a high SPF sunscreen, and covering up head to toe in an abaya-like outfit. It’s about what you eat too (3). We know that eating your sunscreen might not sound like the most appealing option, here’s a list of foods and eating habits that you should follow to increase your sun tolerance.
1. Beat The Sun With Beta-Carotene. Eat Carrots!
As the temperatures soar, stock up on some red, yellow, and orange fruits and veggies. These are rich in carotenoids—antioxidants that reduce sun damage (4). Carrots are one of the best vegetables that are abundant in beta-carotene. The radical damage caused to the skin because of sun exposure can be prevented when your diet has enough of beta-carotene in it. So, combine some vitamin E rich foods with carrot, for a foolproof protection of your skin from the sun.
2. Tanned Skin? Try Some Tomatoes
When the body is exposed to moderate levels of radiation and sun rays, it’s first defense mechanism is tanning. Tomatoes have a magical component called the lycopene— an antioxidant that can reverse tanning and also prevent you from getting sunburnt (5). UV-induced reddening, skin damage, and wrinkles can be prevented by including tomato in the diet.
3. Vitamin C Before You Go To The Sea
If you have summer plans and are going to expose yourself to the sun all day, you should gift yourself a vitamin C hamper. Load it up with all things citrus— oranges, lemons, grapefruits, and all the fruits with a high quality of vitamin C. When you consume sufficient of vitamin C, coupled with vitamin E, it can diminish the reaction to harmful UVB radiation. In addition to being rich in vitamin C, citrus fruits are also hoarders of antioxidants that prevent skin cancer (6).
4. Strawberries To Shoo Away The Sunburns
These berries are delicious. If you really need another reason to gorge on these khatta-meetha berries, here we go: Strawberries are brilliantly packaged with antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which are essential weapons against the sun God. They contain tannins, a preventive phytochemical that can soothe your sunburns like a magic wand (7). You can either eat the strawberries, or you can mash a few strawberries up and slather the paste on the sunburns for immediate relief (8). These berries can not only be your sun-proof jacket against sun’s powerful rays but can also reverse the effects of overexposure in the sun.
5. Prevent Premature Ageing With Pomegranates
Have you ever noticed how you have baggy eyes or some fine lines on your face after a long outing under the scorching heat of the sun? The sun’s UV rays account for over 80 percent of the wrinkles and aging on our face (9). Even two percent of skin damage can age your face by almost three years! You definitely don’t want to age like that, do you? Eat pomegranates. Those red, juicy arils inside the pomegranate are rich in a compound called ellagic acid (10). Consuming foods that contain ellagic acid reduces the wrinkling of skin that is caused by UV radiation.
Sun exposure is an integral part of a sound health. A lack of sun exposure can leave us with vitamin D deficiencies. And that’s exactly why you need at least 20-30 minutes of sun exposure without the high SPF sunscreen on. And the good news is that there is plenty of natural sunscreen lying around in the fruits and vegetables we eat. All we need to do is, alter our diets a little bit, and then we can face the sun with no fear! Summer is coming, guys!
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