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Sunscreen - in your food

29 Jun 2016

Sunscreen In Your Food: Protect Your Skin From Within

Did you know you can boost your defence against sun damage and skin cancer with just five basic foods??

The answer lies in food high in anti-oxidants. This element of the foods reduce the free radical assault by scorching sunrays.  Free radicals are highly reactive oxygen molecules that damage cells, and are the cause of many skin problems, from dryness to wrinkles.

beach, people, baltic sea


Even if you don’t burn easily under the sun, it’s still worth treating your skin to a second line of defence. You could see such foods as your body’s insurance against ageing skin.



Here are my 5 sunscreen foods:

1: Cold Water, Oily Fishfish, salmon, cold water

Not only is salmon good for your overall cardiovascular health, its omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation caused by sun damage. Also, skin cells made with monounsaturated fats (such as omega–3s) are better equipped to handle free radicals. Other omega–3–rich fish include herring, mackerel, trout and sardines. Nutritionists recommend two portions of cold-water fish per week, but taking fish oil supplements can do the trick, too.  I always remind clients that even if you don't eat the skin make sure you eat the brown colour flesh on top of the skin, that's where all the fats are kept.

colourful fruit, exotic2: Colourful Fruit And Vegetables

Load up on red, pink, orange fruit, like cantaloupe, guava, and pink grapefruit, as they contain lycopene, a naturally occurring type of carotenoid that helps ward off the harmful effects of the sun. tomato soupTomatoes are also high in this substance and a 2001 study showed that cooked tomatoes, particularly tomato paste, are even more effective in sun protection as the lycopene gets released even more....another reason I love gazpacho soup when I'm on holiday!  Blueberries, strawberries, and red, yellow, and orange peppers are also great sources of lycopene.


dark chocolate3: Dark Chocolate

Wow, who would’ve thought chocolate would be on the list? I for one am pleased!  Of course it’s the 'slimmers' choice of an occasional dessert but it has more to it than just lower sugar content: it is packed with anti-oxidants found in its cocoa flavonoids. These flavonoids safeguard your skin against photo damage. Be aware, though, that milk chocolate does not have the same effect because milk prevents the absorption of polyphenols, or plant chemicals that have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial capabilities.

 green vegetables and carrots

4: Dark Leafy Greens

Rich in Vitamin A, dark green, leafy vegetables support skin cell rejuvenation. Spinach and broccoli are rich in a blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that lower the risk of cancerous growths in the skin and of course the amazing kale!  This picture has a variety of 'leaves' and of course carrots also contain beta carotene.

Green tea, traditional

5: Green and Black Tea

Both type of teas contain polyphenols that help fight the battle against UV rays. However, green tea has more epigallocatechin–3–gallate (EGCG), the most powerful polyphenol of them all. You can say EGCG is a multitasking chemical that slows down sun-related skin aging, prevents skin cancer, and inhibits tumour cells. 

What’s also interesting is green tea contains L-theanine, an amino acid that helps you relax. It also means that it can stop the production of stress hormone, cortisol, from destroying collagen fibres.  What better way to chill out, relax and protect your skin on holiday!

Anyone spotting the theme about colour here?  You could say to get a good dark colour on holiday you need to EAT a variety of dark colourful fuits and veg!

Happy Holiday's everyone and do stay safe in the sun. Next post I'm going to talk a little bit about sunscreen.... soap box warning!