Summer is in full swing now, and UV indexes have been reaching an all-time high hovering between 9, 10, and even 11 this past weekend alone! And with summer wardrobes revolving around swimsuits, shorts, sundresses and flip flops, the skin is exposed to the sun and free radicals which can accelerate the breakdown of collagen and elastin. The result can be fine lines, age spots, blotchiness and even worse, skin cancer.
The most common way to protect yourself from these skin assailants is through topical broad-spectrum SPF creams. Yet Howard Murad, M.D., FAAD, Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine at UCLA and founder of Murad Inc., reveals that eating your way to environmental protection can decrease your chances of environmental damage and increase your cellular health.
He explains how consuming proper plant-based foods can create a powerful reinforcing form of protection during the warmer months. “Individuals encounter sun damage every day, merely walking outside during their lunch breaks or driving in their cars,” says Dr. Murad. “Although daily SPF moisturizers and creams are essential, it is helpful to double up on your sun protection through internal resources.”
Dr. Murad has discovered and scientifically tested a regimen of foods that contain SPF enhancing elements. These “superfoods” can be found in many of Murad’s topical formulas. But, users can also reap their benefits by incorporating them in to their daily diets.
For sun and free radical protection, try consuming the following foods:
Foods rich in Polyphenols
Polyphenols provide anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative protection to fend off free radicals.
· Green tea
Fruits and Vegetables with Carotenoids
Carotenoids serve to protect cells from the danger of free radicals that may be produced by the body, pollution, cigarette smoke, etc.
· Goji Berries
· Pink Grapefruit
Cruciferous Foods Containing Isothiocyanates
Isothiocyanates combat carcinogens that can lead to cancer, including skin cancer and breast cancer.
· Brussels Sprouts
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen to help skin looking plumper and younger.
Foods Containing Coenzyme Q10
Coenzyme Q10 acts as a shield from free radical damage, stopping the damage from penetrating to the cells.
· Wheat Germ
· Whole Grains