Foods That Fight Sunburns

They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that a tomato a day might just keep a sunburn away? It's true! There are some great power foods that can actually boost your ability to resist sunburns while you're enjoying the summer sun. It doesn't mean you can skip sunscreen, but don't you love the idea of protecting your skin inside and out? Tomatoes lead the way in sun-fighting power foods because they contain the antioxidant lycopene, which can neutralize harmful molecules produced in skin exposed to harmful ultra-violet rays. Fresh tomatoes are good, but cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene. Your best bet is tomato paste, so put pizza or spaghetti on your weekly menu for the summer and enjoy up to 33 percent more protection from the sun. Another summer food that's rich in lycopene is watermelon, so help yourself to that extra wedge at the pool party. Your skin will thank you. Research suggests that regularly drinking green tea and matcha tea can boost your skin's ability to resist sunburn, and the tannic acid can also help soothe burned skin. Treat a sunburn by adding some tea bags to a warm bath and enjoy a good soak. Pomegranates are another tasty power food, rich in ellagic acid, which can help your skin resist cell damage from UVA and UVB rays. Eating this fruit fresh is best, but the juice is helpful as well. Carrots, sweet potatoes and red beets contain rich amounts of Vitamin D, which strengthens skin and its ability to resist burns. Raw, roasted or juiced, these power foods are skin defenders in any form. Salmon and other foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to boost skin's ability to resist sunburn and research suggests that these important fats also prevent skin cancers. Treat yourself to three ounces of dark chocolate not only for sunburn prevention, but also smoother skin. Oh, and it tastes delicious too. Win/win/win. It's no surprise that tropical fruits like guava are helpful for fighting sunburn. The Vitamin C in one guava fruit is five times that of a medium orange, and vitamin C is a skin-healing antioxidant. The more you eat, the healthier your skin. It may not be easy to find guava locally, so stock up on other Vitamin C-rich foods like broccoli, bell peppers, and strawberries for similar benefits. Hit your local farmer's market to stock up on these power foods and enjoy a burn-free summer that tastes great too! {Image via flickr}
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