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The SPF, sun protective factor, is a hot topic as the summer is upon us. There are a number of common foods that offer protection to skin from the sun’s potentially damaging effects with the presence of antioxidant compounds. The natural antioxidant provide the protection to the cells of the body from premature destruction, due to exposure to heat, light, air, moisture and time. Brightly-colored foods tend to help reduce damage to skin cells caused by UVA and UVB radiation.

Here are some sun protective foods to consider:

Colored peppers: Red, yellow and orange peppers contained natural pigments called carotenoids. These antioxidants convert to vitamin A  and aid in protecting skin cells by inhibiting the destruction of the thin lipid (fat) layer that surrounds skin cells in the body.

Yellow summer squash: Also contains protective carotenoids. It can used in dishes or eaten fresh.

Turmeric root: The yellow root contains a profoundly beneficial compound called curcumin that possesses superior anti-inflammatory activity, aids the immune system, enhances the brain, and protects your skin. It can be used in cooking or in supplements.

Ripe red tomatoes: The characteristic red color in tomatoes is from the natural antioxidant pigment and phytochemical lycopene. This antioxidant is well known for providing protection to the prostate gland. It also protects skin cells from exposure to the sun.

Watermelon: Also contains lycopene for its red pigment. Watermelon is also very refreshing keeping you and your skin cells cool and hydrated.

Blue and purple berries: Blueberries, black currants, acai, cranberries, blackberries and elderberries are rich in the potent purple pigments known as anthocyanins. These contain protective compounds, helping to reduce the risk of many chronic and degenerative diseases, and providing excellent SPF protection.

Green tea: Antioxidant compounds called polyphenol catechins provide super-powerful defenses that enhances cardiovascular function, demonstrates anti-cancer activity, supports the immune system, detoxifies the body, aids weight control, and also protects skin cells from exposure to UVA and UVB rays.

Cocoa: The ultimate super-food, containing 712 compounds, including potent antioxidant and skin-protective flavanols provide also profound protection for the heart and blood pressure. Eating the organic dark chocolate and whole cocoa is the best source.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids: Provides excellent protection for the heart as well as  protection to skin. These agents are essential to overall health and well being, and also help skin cells to stay healthy.

These foods offer have the protective activity of nature’s antioxidants that  protect the body from the inside out. Being in the sun safely should be responsibly observed with appropriate sunscreen protection year round.

Have questions? Contact me here, at drtijana.dc@gmail.comFacebook, or Twitter!

Be healthy & happy, Dr. Tijana

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