Can a healthful diet help prevent sunburn?

Integrative Therapies for Healthy Summer SportsI’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)

Related alternahealthgrrrl story:  Lyme Disease Alert! + DEET alternatives that protect w/o toxins

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About alternahealthgrrrl

I'm a writer, reporter and editor who has been on the health beat for over 15 years. I've worked on staff at Whole Living Magazine and More Magazine, where I conceived an investigative piece on unwarrented hysterectomies that earned a 2009 National Magazine Award nomination. Other publications I've worked at include Self, Vogue, and Lucky. View all posts by alternahealthgrrrl

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