10 Foods That Prevent Sunburn
Can food actually prevent sunburn? Studies say yes! If you’re looking for a natural way to prevent sunburn and skin cancer, you’ve found the list of foods you should eat generously during the summer months.
Later, we’ll discuss the types of sunscreen that may contribute to cancer and why natural options are best.
Foods That Prevent Sunburn
The thought that any type of food you eat could prevent sunburn might be a new one on you. It was for me too. Sunburn-prone people will be glad to know certain foods contain special nutrients that can help improve skin’s resilience to damaging UVA and UVB rays.
If you want to increase your skin’s resistant to sunburn and sun damage, as well as prevent premature wrinkles, try tomatoes! According to a 2001 study on the effect of tomatoes on sunburn, volunteers who ate 40 grams of tomato paste along with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil (for absorption), over ten weeks were 40% less likely to get sunburn! Note: The high lycopene content, which is responsible for the natural prevent of sunburn, is more bioavailable (more absorbable) in tomato paste or cut tomatoes than whole tomatoes.
Another pink food that is rich in lycopene is watermelon. The high concentrations of lycopene in this refreshing fruit may help prevent sun damage from the inside out.
3. Green, Leafy Vegetables
Eating green, leafy vegetables isn’t just a great way to improve your colon health naturally; it can also help prevent the development of skin cancer. The secret ingredients in green, leafy vegetables are carotenoids, a special type of antioxidant that prevent sunburn and oxidative stress that can lead to the development of melanoma.
Broccoli is another food that acts as a natural sunburn preventative. It contains carotenoids as well as phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that keep your skin healthy and young-looking.
Another nutrient that is essential in the natural prevention of sunburn is omega 3 fatty acids. According to an Australian study, people who eat foods containing a high level of omega 3 fatty acids substantially decrease their risk for the development of skin cancer. This is because people who had a high concentration of DHA and EPA serum levels had low p53 immunoreactivity.
In layman’s terms: When the skin is exposed to high levels of UV rays, the immune system releases a certain type of chemical to protect the skin. If this chemical is triggered often enough, it can lead to the development of skin cancer. When omega 3 fatty acids are eaten regularly, the need for this immune system response decreases, as does the likelihood of skin cancer development.
6. Wild-Caught Salmon
Wild-caught salmon is one of the most potent sources of nourishing, skin-protecting omega 3 fatty acids. It’s also rich in vitamin D3, which helps your skin build a tolerance to UV rays. Another skin-protecting ingredient in this healthy fish is astaxathin, an antioxidant that acts as an internal sunscreen.
Shrimp is another healthy source of omega 3, vitamin D3, and astaxathin. Eating a well-rounded diet full of fish can keep you not only feeling better but looking younger as well. With so many ways to eat this delicious shellfish (barbeque, shish kabob, scampi, cocktail), you’ll never be bored!
If you’re just not tempted by the fishy taste of salmon, trout is another skin-healthy option with a milder flavor. Each serving gives you a skin-supporting boost of omega 3, vitamin D, and astaxathin.
You may have heard that vitamin E is a great way to soothe skin after sun exposure but did you know that eating foods rich in it can prevent sunburn? The high levels of vitamin E found in avocado can help prevent and repair the cellular damage caused by sun exposure.
10. Green Tea
Sipping a nice glass of iced green tea during the summer months isn’t only a great way to cool off; it’s a great way to protect your skin! According to research, green tea may help prevent the development of skin cancer. The high levels of polyphenols and epigallocatechins appear to have a natural anti-carcinogenic effect.
Why Certain Sunscreens May Actually Cause Skin Cancer
If you’re like most people, you honestly believe that using sunscreen before spending time outdoors will prevent skin cancer. The alarming truth is that some sunscreens can actually contribute to the development of skin cancer! How is this possible? Most commercial sunscreens contain a dangerous cocktail of synthetic chemicals that have been scientifically proven to have a carcinogenic affect on the body.
Natural Sunscreen Options
If you’re as fair-skinned as I am, you may need a little extra help to prevent sunburn. In lieu of traditional, chemical-laden sunscreens, opt for more natural options. Here are 3 natural sunscreens I’ve used and recommend:
- Alba Botanicals Revitalizing Green Tea Sunscreen
This quick-absorbing natural sunscreen is bar far the best I’ve ever tried. It’s long-lasting, non-greasy, and contains absolutely no artificial colors, parabens, phthalates, oxybenzone, PABA, nano-technology, sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium methyl sulfate. Also, it’s not tested on animals.
- Burt’s Bees Chemical-Free Sunscreen
Burt’s Bees chemical-free sunscreen contains no artificial chemicals or fragrances and is safe for sensitive skin. Comfrey and aloe vera soothes skin and the orange and lemon oil give this sunscreen a pleasing smell.
- Aubrey Organics Sunscreen
This organic sunscreen protects skin with a liberal amount of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It covers well but tends to sit on your skin so apply thinly and spread evenly to avoid that whole Twilight vampire look.
Melanoma is a common and dangerous form of skin cancer. I should know. I’ve had it. Thankfully, all I needed to do was get surgery. It definitely changed the type of skincare products I used (all-natural) and the type of food I eat. Eating these foods that prevent sunburn may not only keep you from feeling uncomfortable after a day in the sun, they could just save your life!