But these aren’t the only nutrients in food that are protective.
Brazil nuts are a rich source of selenium. In 2009 a study showed that higher levels of selenium in the blood reduced the risk of skin cancer by half.
Green tea contains antioxidants that reduce skin inflammation and cell damage caused by sun exposure.
Carotenoids are another valuable group of nutrients that are found in abundance in orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and leafy greens. There are many studies that demonstrate the sun-protecting benefits of carotenoids. Betacarotene (a common carotenoid) improved the skin’s ability to protect itself from the sun.
Lycopene, a nutrient found in tomatoes, has been shown to greatly reduce the redness that results from sun exposure. In one study, people that consumed tomato paste daily showed an average of 40% less redness than the control group.
Astaxanthin, a red carotenoid found in plants and algae was found to help prevent skin cancer. Studies over the last 20 years found it to be a very powerful antioxidant. It exhibits one of the strongest protective actions of all the carotenoids.
Good nutrition plays a vital role in ensuring you have healthy, beautiful skin. But these studies show that eating certain foods boosts the protective benefits your sunscreen offers. Make sure you’re protecting your skin from the inside as well as the outside by increasing your intake of these foods as we approach summer.