With the warmer weather we are outdoors a lot. I don’t want to turn into the “Tanning Mom,” so I’m using plenty of sunscreen and I’m ready to try some natural skin protection with these foods. These sound good to me:
1. Almonds: provide some sun protection and have antioxidants to repair sun damage
Keep 1/4 cup of almonds in your desk or purse for a quick snack or toss some onto a salad.
2. Flaxseed: fights wrinkles, lightens spots, and lessens red irritation
You can use ground flaxseed in smoothies. It gives a good smooth texture and you can’t taste it. It’s the omega-3 oil that performs all these wonders.
3. Salmon (not farm-raised) and 4. Walnuts: have the same omega-3’s as flaxseed and do the same miracles
Besides grilled salmon, you can put salmon on a green salad or even on crackers. We like salmon patties made with cheese crackers and a little Worcestershire sauce mixed in. Walnuts are great as a snack or on cereal.
5. Cooked Tomatoes: have lycopene that fights the free-radicals that do so much skin damage
As much as we love fresh tomatoes in the summer, we try to keep some spaghetti sauce and catsup on the menu.
6. Watermelon: also has lycopene to block free-radicals
Woohoo! I can’t wait for the watermelons to come in! And they are great at hydrating you while being very low in calories.
7. Sweet Potatoes: the vitamin C builds collagen in your skin for a youthful look
This works from the inside; that has to be better than collagen creams on the outside. Much cheaper and so yummy.
8. Peppers: Any kind of peppers have lots of vitamin C to make that great collagen.
We love raw green peppers, but the red peppers have the most vitamin C. If you are growing bell peppers you can just let them ripen to red before picking them. A great deal all around since red peppers usually cost more in the stores. Hot peppers also have vitamin C, so enjoy that salsa !
9. Spinach: has folate to prevent skin cancer
We love a fresh spinach salad or mixed in with a green salad. You can throw some spinach into any pasta sauce and it’s especially delicious in an alfredo sauce.
10. Dark Leafy Greens: work much the same way as spinach
You might like greens better than spinach with about the same benefits.
11. Safflower Oil: Omega-6 in it keeps skin cell walls supple.
Studies show you can get the benefits of this by applying it to your skin. It is supposed to really be good for dry, itchy skin.
12. Canned Tuna: nourishes elastin in your skin and protects against sun damage
Elastin keeps the youthful look and prevents that saggy, worn-out look.
13. Carrots: tons of vitamin A to get rid of blemishes and to block the sun
Carrots are the royalty of good skin foods. They work to prevent the accumulation of dead skin cells which give a rough, old look to your skin. instead of the young clear look. Vitamin A also prevents clogged pores and reduced the development of skin cancer.
Keep carrots on hand for easy snacking. Pack some in your lunch. Serve them with hummus as an appetizer.
14. Green Tea: antioxidant/anti-inflammatory/anti-cancer
From the linked slideshow at Women’s Health:
“Research found that drinking 2 to 6 cups a day not only helps prevent skin cancer but might also reverse the effects of sun damage by neutralizing the changes that appear in sun-exposed skin. (The tea’s antioxidants degrade as it cools, so drink it while it’s hot.)”
I might have to drink it hot in the morning. Perhaps iced green tea is better than none on hot summer days.
15. Dark Chocolate: flavanoids/antioxidants
You don’t think of chocolate as being good for your skin, but it reduces roughness and provides some sun protection. And of course it’s delicious and good for your heat. I find good dark chocolate at Aldi’s for a reasonable price. It’s under the brand name of Moser Roth and I love the variety that is 70% cacao. It comes with individual servings in the package that encourages me to just eat one. It also comes in an orange flavor. Their chocolates are all high quality and reasonably priced.
Don’t depend totally on these foods to protect you from the sun. Keep up the sunscreen every few hours. At least if you missed a spot, the foods will give you some protection.
I’ll be adding these foods to our menus for summer and beyond. We have a family wedding coming up with lots of photos. Perhaps I can create a boot camp for my skin! Lifting my cup of hot tea to you! Cheers!
Click here to link to slideshow at Women’s Health about these foods.
Click on labels below this post for recipe ideas using these foods. Enjoy!