Eat a Square of Chocolate a Day to Keep Sunburns Away
courtesy of Daily Glow
If you’re heading outdoors this summer, don’t forget to pack a bar of chocolate to help protect against sun damage.
Yes, you read that correctly: Chocolate, as well as other foods like tomatoes and green tea, can help prevent skin damage, say experts.
“Cocoa or dark chocolate contains four times as much phenols and catechins as tea. These antioxidants protect our skin from sunburn and skin cancer,” says Frank Lipman, MD, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, who recommends two ounces of dark chocolate daily.
If you don’t have a sweet tooth (lucky you!), load up on fresh produce. Red-colored vegetables like tomatoes and red peppers contain the skin-friendly antioxidant lycopene. “Some research has shown that lycopene can protect skin from the damaging effects of UV rays,” says Jessica Wu, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at USC Medical School and author of Feed Your Face. When choosing vegetables, look for the brightest red variety, which is also the most abundant in lycopene. And, when possible, cook the red veggies and fruit so your body can better absorb the antioxidant.
When it comes to adding a kick to your meal, try garlic. “Besides being tasty, garlic contains several antioxidants, including compounds that have been shown to inhibit the growth of basal cell carcinoma and melanoma cells,” explains Dr. Wu.
Green tea has also been shown to help protect skin against sun damage thanks to its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects. Studies have shown that green tea can be used both orally and topically to help protect the skin from sunburns and UV-associated skin cancers. Try to drink one cup of green tea twice a day since research has suggested that consuming that amount over the course of six months may actually reverse sun damage and significantly improve any problems you have with redness and broken capillary veins.
Tell us: Which skin-protecting food will you be adding to your dish tonight?
xx, The FabFitFun Team