There may be few better feelings than lying undisturbed by a beach or pool, or even on your front lawn, while basking in the gentle caress of the sun’s warm, glow-inducing rays. But it doesn’t take a dermatologist to tell you the risks involved in sunbathing – or simply being exposed to the sun while you’re out and about. Of course, you should be slathering on a broad-spectrum sunscreen that contains an SPF of 30 or higher, but that’s not all you can do to keep sun exposure at bay. Your diet could help big time, too. A healthy diet high in antioxidant-rich foods can help protect your body from the sun and also fight pesky pimples, grease, and shine. We talked to registered dietitians to learn what sun-protective foods you should be piling high on your plate.
“The deeper the color of the fruit you eat, the more antioxidants it contains,” said Roger Adams, Ph.D., dietitian and nutritionist and founder of EatRightFitness.com. “Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body, which are caused by sun exposure and can damage cells, altering their appearance or function.”
Some studies have also linked free radicals to cancer. Adams recommends opting for fruits like berries, plums, prunes, and cherries to pack your diet full of skin-boosting antioxidants that keep skin cells, as well as other cells in the body, from degrading as quickly and succumbing to the detrimental effects of aging.