The Power of Diet in Protecting Skin from UV Rays: A Nutritional Guide

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

The method of nutrition is a very important factor in maintaining skin health and protecting against the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Nutrition and food expert Marina Diana Perez, professor of medical sciences at the Open University of Catalonia, explains that a plant-based diet works 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, which contribute to the oxidative protection of the skin from external factors, such as damage caused by ultraviolet radiation.

What products protect our skin?

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

A review of research in this area, published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed which products most effectively protect our skin:

  • Olive oil and legumes – their consumption is associated with less skin damage caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Mango, melon, orange, tomato, pomegranate, passion fruit, and grapes – are rich in biologically active compounds such as vitamin C, alpha-tocopherol – vitamin E, beta-carotene, polyphenols, and phenolic acids, which enhance the oxidative protection of the skin. , participate in the mechanisms of reducing inflammation and provide structural support and protection of the skin from UV radiation.
  • Kale or green cabbage is rich in 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 that give the skin elasticity and hydration.
  • Cocoa, green tea, or coffee – contain polyphenols that have a valuable antioxidant effect.

Vitamins to protect the skin

Some vitamins have valuable properties for skin health.

In addition to the well-known vitamin D, vitamins C, E, B3, and A are allocated.

Vitamin D is obtained mainly due to skin synthesis when exposed to the sun (80%-90%), but up to 20% comes from food.

Until a few years ago, it was believed that it was found only in animal products — for example, eggs, dairy products, or oily fish, but recent discoveries show that mushrooms also contain vitamin D, scientists explain.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant capable of destroying free radicals and is found mainly in raw red and green peppers, oranges, grapefruits, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

 Vitamin E is mainly found in nuts, seeds, vegetables, corn, and soy and acts as antioxidant protection for the skin because 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 the differentiation of the epidermis, modulating dermal growth factors and regulating the activity of the sebaceous glands.

Liver, fish oil, milk, and eggs are rich in vitamin A.

 Probiotics for healthy skin

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

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

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

So they will be good nutrition for the skin against the appearance of wrinkles.


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