The weather is still uncertain, but here we go again: the countdown for summer has started again and we already dream of being on the beach, relaxing and regaining our lost tan.
The most effective supplements for preparing skin for the sun, the nature simply give it to us : you might already have them on your plate, including seasonal fruit and vegetables – let’s not just talk about carrots!
There are at least 5 other foods to add to the shopping list to really protect the skin from the harmful effects of UV rays and bring out all the benefits of sun exposure.
1. Almonds and walnuts
You know that they are good for you all year, but in summer almonds and walnuts trigger their antioxidant effects and help you protect the lipid layer of the skin (read: less burns, less wrinkles and a shield-effect against aggression). Under the umbrella, in the salad or on the ice cream, they help you to have a radiant appearance thanks to their high content of vitamin E. But look at the calories! The daily amount usually recommended by nutritionists is about 20 grams.
Always make sure that the dried fruit is natural and (if possible) organic. When choosing almonds, prefer those with the skin: this is where many of their nutritional properties are concentrated!
Radicchio is in second place after the carrots for the content of vitamin A (retinol) that intervenes in the repair mechanisms of the skin. The precursor of retinol is the best known beta-carotene, of which apricots, pumpkin and melon are also rich. Beta-carotene stimulates the production of melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its beautiful golden appearance.
King of the summer table, peppers contain lots of vitamin A and C. To make the most of their antioxidant properties, they should be eaten raw: vitamin C, in fact, degrades above 45 degrees and is easily diluted in water cooking. Put them in the salad or eat them with the other crudités, as a snack or during the aperitif.
With its high content of lycopene, fresh tomatoes effectively counteract free radicals that damage our skin during sun exposure. Lycopene is better absorbed by our body when it is cooked, and in the presence of fats: a nice plate of pasta seasoned with tomato sauce and extra virgin olive oil will be more effective than many tablet supplements – and certainly taste better!
Like the other Brassicaceae (or Crucifera, the family of turnips and cabbages), rocket is rich in selenium, a mineral that works in synergy with vitamin E to destroy free radicals. It improves the physiological barriers of the skin in case of atopic dermatitis and inhibits the growth of some types of skin melanomas. You can benefit from its properties not only by consuming it in salads, but also by using it to prepare pestos and other seasonings: it has been shown that milk proteins and fats retain the good substances of this superfood.
Let’s go eat and get a tan!