Nutrition

Sun-Protecting Foods to Prevent Sunburn

Protect and heal your skin from the inside out by eating these sun-fighting foods

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Sun-Protecting Foods to Prevent Sunburn

Want an additional boost in sun protection? Stock up on foods that are high in antioxidants or contain certain minerals, advises Frank Lipman, M.D., an integrative medicine physician and author of The New Health Rules. A sunburn, after all, is a type of inflammation, so conceivably an anti-inflammatory diet can help prevent sunburn and skin damage, he explains. “Certain foods such as leafy greens, strawberries, peppers, and green or black tea can offer protection by neutralizing the effects of UV rays and providing your body with the nutrients needed to slow sun damage,” Lipman says. Research has shown that lycopene (found in tomatoes), for example, can help reduce skin vulnerability to sunburn, providing up to 30% more protection against burns among subjects who followed a lycopene-rich diet. But don’t shelve your sunscreen entirely: Since there’s a great range of vulnerability to sunburn based on your skin color, ethnicity, and location, continue to apply sunscreen regularly to protect yourself from burns and even more serious damage, advises Lipman. 

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