With temperatures rising and beach days in sight, it is important to pay more attention to protecting the skin, which is our largest organ and the main one in contact with the sun. In addition to being essential to maintain good hydration, some foods can also help with sun protection and its possible damage.
Lycopene is an important antioxidant in preparing the skin for the summer. It has a photo-protective function and is easily found in seasonal foods such as tomatoes, watermelon, apricots and papaya. However, lycopene requires correct handling so that we can make the best use of its benefits: it must be heated and joined with a good fat, such as olive oil, for example. Therefore, we suggest a shot of tomato soup (which can be cold) daily during hot days.
Other antioxidant and anti-inflammatory foods, such as berries, green tea, dark chocolate, turmeric, among others, are also important because when we expose ourselves to the sun, we cause inflammation of the skin, and therefore, foods like this help to neutralize these inflammations.
We must also invest in the consumption of yellow and orange colored foods that are sources of carotenoids and fight free radicals, stabilizing the molecules. In particular, beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A, acts in the formation of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color, which plays an important role in protecting the skin against the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We can find it in carrots, squash, beets, mangoes, goji berries, and also in dark green vegetables like spinach and watercress.
We also complete the diet with sources of vitamin E and good fats, such as olive oil, almonds and eggs, which protect cellular structures, preventing damage to the skin.
And finally, and perhaps the most important of all: water! Hydration is essential for the hottest days. They can be fresh, natural or flavored, but it must always be present!
Article written by Amabile Kolenda - Natural Chef of The Therapist and co-owner of Una Create