We are in the midst of summer and its endless warmth and sunshine! Now is the time that most of us start thinking about caring for our skin and protecting it from the sun. Careless sun exposure causes sunburn and repeated sunburn causes damaged skin which leads to wrinkles, sunspots, sagging of skin, and even skin cancer.
Protecting your skin from the outside is important, but equally important is protecting your skin from the inside. A healthy diet can truly make a difference in your skin’s health and its ability to repair and even prevent cell damage from sunburn.
A large part of natural sun protection is eating a diet that is anti-inflammatory, high in antioxidants and provides the body with the proper building blocks for healthy skin.
Fruits and Veggies
Like I have said, the cornerstone to any healthy diet is an abundance of fruits and vegetables. As it relates to skin health, fruits and veggies, contain a large amount of vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant protects against UV-induced damage caused by free radicals. Your vitamin C needs increase with sun exposure which means the more sun you are exposed to the more vitamin C you need to consume daily.
Some of the powerhouse vitamin C sources are oranges (juice), berries, kiwi, mango, stone fruit, bell peppers, chilis, and leafy greens.
Fatty Fish, Seafood, and Eggs
Omega-3’s and vitamin D are both packed into these foods and are very beneficial for healthy skin.
Omega-3’s are essential fatty acids that are anti-inflammatory. They are found in the skin and help to protect against free radical damage and promote soft, moist, supple, and wrinkle-free skin.
Vitamin D contributes to skin cell growth, repair, and metabolism. It boosts the skin’s immune system which helps destroy free radicals that can cause premature aging and plays an integral role in skin protection and rejuvenation.
One of the most potent dietary sources of antioxidants! Antioxidants are important because they bind to free radicals and prevent them from causing harm to the body. The most abundant antioxidants in green tea are the catechins. They are extremely effective in protecting against skin inflammation and cancerous changes in the skin. Sunlight depletes the antioxidant levels in the skin and increases our need for more antioxidants to help reduce inflammation and protect the skin cells from sunburn.
Sipping on green tea daily is one of the best foods you can incorporate into your diet to promote skin health. Make big batches of iced green tea and add slices of lemon for a nice dose of vitamin C!
Collagen is a protein found in our skin and helps to keep its elasticity and maintain a plump, soft appearance. The sun’s rays lead to photoaging (wrinkling and thickening of the skin) by breaking down and slowing the production of collagen.
Fight back against photoaging by increasing the amount of collagen in your diet! Collagen peptides can be stirred into hot liquids like your morning coffee or tea or blended into an iced latte or smoothie. Bone broth is also an excellent source of collagen!