I’m not giving up my SPF 50 anytime soon, but I love the idea of enhancing my skin’s ability to protect itself by eating right. The recent Natural Standard eNewsletter highlights nutrients in food that can help the body produce melanin to protect the skin from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Sunburn may occur when the amount of sun or ultraviolet (UV) light exposure exceeds the ability of the body’s pigment called melanin to protect the skin. Many integrative therapies have been studied for their potential to protect the skin against such exposure.
Lycopene in combination with other carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, selenium and proanthocyanidins, may help in reducing sunburn. Carotenoids are highly pigmented (red, orange, yellow), fat-soluble compounds naturally present in many fruits, grains, oils and vegetables (green plants, carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, spinach, etc). Selected protective effects from UV rays have been observed in small, short-term studies. (more)
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