These 7 Foods Help Fight UV Damage, So Stock Up On These Goodies For Summer

Spring has arrived, and summer is not too far off, which means most of us will probably take advantage of the weather and spend plenty of time in the sunshine. You may be good about wearing your daily SPF and staying in the shade, but sometimes sun exposure is inevitable. Luckily for you, you can protect your skin from not only the outside, but the inside as well.

Healthy foods can do a lot of great things for your skin, whether it’s an all-natural DIY mask, superfood-filled juices that make you glow, or different foods that fight acne, but eating the right kinds of food can help fight damage from UV rays as well. To help protect your skin and prevent any more sun damage than necessary, we have come up with a list of 7 foods to eat to keep your skin young and free of pesky sun-spots and weathered wrinkles.

Tomatoes

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“Tomatoes contain the antioxidant lycopene, and foods that contain it have shown to protect from erythema and other UV skin induced irritations,” says Jessica Swift, RD. Studies have shown that eating tomatoes causes a 30 percent increase in skin protection, reducing redness from the sun and blocking UV radiation.

Broccoli

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Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower contain antioxidants that fight free radicals and can help prevent cancer. “An abundance of sulforaphane is found in these vegetables, which reduce the risk of cell damage from the sun,” says Swift.

Salmon

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The large quantity of omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon helps to fight off the skin’s inflammatory response to UV rays and helps minimize free radical damage. Salmon is also rich in carotenoids that that help fight off cell damage.

Dark chocolate

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Studies have found that eating dark chocolate can help prevent skin from UV rays. This effect comes from flavanol, an antioxidant found in the cocoa bean that offers significant photoprotection. The darker the chocolate, the better, as the more cocoa your bar contains, the higher amounts of protective flavanol you’ll get.

Green tea

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Catechins, antioxidants found in green tea, are responsible for the drink’s power to help reduce sunburn inflammation as well as prevent long-term UV damage. “Fluids in general are very important to the skin,” says Elizabeth Somer, MA, RD. “You should drink at least 8 glasses daily of water or other fluids to keep your skin moist and firm.”

Oranges

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“Sun exposure drains Vitamin C from the skin for up to 72 hours, leaving skin vulnerable to damage,” says Somer. “Vitamin C also helps maintain collagen, the underlying supporting structure of skin.” Eating foods rich in Vitamin C such as citrus, kiwi, strawberries, and broccoli will help strengthen the skin and prevent it from damage

Nuts

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Nuts are a great source of vitamin E, and boosting intake of this antioxidant, alone or in combination with other antioxidants like beta carotene, helps lower skin-cancer risk. “Vitamin E also slows the aging of skin cells by reducing the production of an enzyme called collagenase that otherwise breaks down collagen, causing the skin to sag and wrinkle,” adds Somer. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are all great sources of the vitamin.