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Boost your Summer SPF (Sun-Protecting Foods)

During the hot summer months – it’s important to protect our skin from the damaging effects of the sun.

Watch the video = http://kutv.com/features/fresh-living/sun-protecting-foods

When most people think about “SPF” – they think about the sun protection factor as it relates to sunscreen.

As a nutritionist, I also like people to understand the “other SPF” – referring to “skin-protecting foods.”

These are foods that deliver specific nutrients that can help to block harmful UV light, reduce sunburns, and deliver a range of anti-aging benefits.

Some of my favorites are:

Carrots, cantaloupe, spinach and kale – are all high in beta-carotene that concentrates in the skin and protects from UV rays. Try one of my favorite smoothie recipes:

Green Acai (makes ~16oz)

  • 1⁄2 cup chopped kale (packed)
  • 1⁄2 cup chopped spinach (packed)
  • 1⁄4 avocado
  • 1 packet (3.5oz / 100g) of frozen acai berries
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • handful of parsley

Grapes, blueberries, and cherries – are all high in polyphenols that can help to reduce sun-induced oxidation (damage) to cells and DNA. Pop your fruit in the freezer so you can enjoy a frozen treat on a hot summer day.

Tomatoes and Watermelon – are high in lycopene, a red carotenoid that can significantly reduce sunburn risk – and either one can be used as the base for a healthy and delicious summer salad.

Salmon is high is astaxanthin – a carotenoid that can increase the natural SPF of your skin by the equivalent of 2-4 SPF sunscreen (from the inside)! At your next summer BBQ, skip the burger and fries in favor of a salmon burger (astaxanthin) and sweet potato (beta-carotene) for the ultimate in inside-out sun protection.

Eat as many of these foods as often as possible to protect your skin from the damaging effects of the summer sun.

Thanks for reading,

Shawn
====================================

Shawn M Talbott, PhD, CNS, LDN, FACSM, FAIS, FACN

Nutritional Biochemist and Author

(801) 915-1170 (mobile)

smtalbott@mac.com

www.shawntalbott.com

 

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