What foods protect our skin from the sun’s rays?

The way you eat is a very important factor in maintaining healthy skin and protecting it from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Nutrition and food expert Marina Diana Pérez, professor of medical sciences at the Open University of Catalonia, explains that a plant-based diet works in the same way as applying sunscreen.

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts are foods rich in vitamins such as C and E, polyphenols, and phenolic acids that contribute to the oxidative protection of the skin from external factors such as damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.

What foods protect our skin?

The role of diet in protecting the skin from solar radiation has been extensively studied.

A review of research in this area, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed which foods are most effective in protecting our skin:

  • Olive oil and legumes are associated with less skin damage caused by long-term UV exposure.
  • Mango, melon, orange, tomato, pomegranate, passion fruit and grape – they are rich in biologically active compounds such as vitamin C, α-tocopherol – vitamin E, beta-carotene, polyphenols and phenolic acids, which enhance the oxidative defense of the skin. , are involved in inflammation reduction mechanisms and provide structural support and UV protection to the skin.
  • Kale or green cabbage are rich sources of carotenoids and vitamin C, which help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress.
  • Almonds – the content of tocopherols and unsaturated fatty acids in it reduces wrinkles and hyperpigmentation.
  • Soy – contains isoflavones, which give the skin elasticity and hydration.
  • Cocoa, green tea or coffee – contain polyphenols that have a valuable antioxidant effect.

Vitamins for skin protection

  • Some vitamins are valuable for skin health.
  • In addition to the well-known vitamin D, vitamins C, E, B3 and A are secreted.
  • Vitamin D is obtained mainly through skin synthesis when exposed to the sun (80%-90%), but up to 20% comes from food.
  • Until a few years ago, it was thought to be found only in animal products such as eggs, dairy products or oily fish, but recent discoveries show that mushrooms also contain vitamin D, the scientists explain.
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can scavenge free radicals and is found primarily in raw red and green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, kiwis, strawberries, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.
  • Vitamin E is mainly found in nuts, seeds, vegetables, corn, soybeans and acts as an antioxidant skin defense as it absorbs ultraviolet light.
  • Vitamin B3 – niacin, which is also an antioxidant, is obtained from meat, fish, milk, eggs and nuts.
  • Vitamin A is involved in epidermal differentiation, modulation of dermal growth factors, and regulation of sebaceous gland activity.
  • Liver, fish oil, milk and eggs are rich in vitamin A.

Probiotics for Healthy Skin

Probiotics are live microorganisms – enterococci, lactobacilli and bifidobacteria – that naturally inhabit the intestinal microbiome, but there are many reasons that can reduce their number: unbalanced diet, lack of movement, stress, smoking, drinking alcohol, taking antibiotics and others.

These microorganisms are also present in fermented foods such as yogurt, kefir, miso paste and fermented drinks.

There is growing scientific evidence that probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus can prevent photoaging, the skin aging caused by UV radiation.

So they will be a good nourishment for anti-wrinkle skin.


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