Have you heard of internal sunscreen? It may sound odd, but certain foods you consume can actually help your body protect itself against UV rays from the inside out. And we’re happy to proclaim that these foods are tasty, too: think red fruits, dark chocolate, and refreshing leafy greens, yum!
Your next salad or smoothie can increase the body’s natural defense against free radicals, and it can also repair existing sun-caused skin damage. But no matter how revitalizing the internal SPF popsicle, remember to also use sunscreen!
8 Internal SPF Foods & Recipes
Pomegranate not only helps build up your immunity, but it also enhances the skin’s natural defense against harmful UV rays! The elixir recipe below packs plenty of pomegranate, adding SPF-rich grapes, cacao and coconut oil to the mix.
Try it in: Antioxidant Pomegranate Power Elixir from Hello Glow
Lycopene, which naturally occurs in tomatoes, increases skin’s natural defense against UV rays and protects against sun damage. As one would expect, the raw version of the fruit is the most effective, so toss some tomatoes on your pasta or pizza, rather than cooking them beforehand.
Try it in: Crispy Baked Tostadas with Fajita Vegetables from Hello Veggie
With the risk of repeating ourselves, we’ll go ahead and say it: drink tea! Green, black and white tea all have UV-fighting benefits, but green tea takes the crown with its high content of epigallocatechin–3–gallate and L-theanine. The two components delay sun-related skin aging on the one hand, and prevent the production of cortisol, a stress-caused hormone that ages the skin, on the other.
Try it in: Spring Detox Smoothie from Hello Glow
Two summer favorites, watermelon and red berries, both contain an antioxidant called lycopene, which plays an important role in enhancing the skin’s natural ability to fight free radicals and UV rays. When it comes to internal sunscreen, red is rad!
Try it in: Watermelon Strawberry Pops from Hello Glow
Like other fish (herring, sardines, mackerel), salmon is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation and protect the skin from sunburn. Additionally, wild salmon contains astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant that only adds to internal sun protection.
Try it in: Lemon-Pistachio Salmon with Parsley from Hello Glow
You may have already heard dark chocolate packs tons of antioxidants. But the even better news is that these antioxidants (phenols and catechins) have been found to protect against skin cancer and sunburn! So go ahead, bite into that dark chocolate, just make sure it’s at least 70% cacao! The larger the milk content, the less effective the absorption of beneficial components.
Try it in: Raw Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies from Hello Glow
Sulphoraphane, an antioxidant found in broccoli, protects human cells against UV radiation. The recommended portion is half a cup a day, which is totally doable when you check out the recipes below!
Try it in: Roasted Broccoli 3 Ways from Hello Glow
Leafy greens are a treasure for your body! Blending some spinach into your morning smoothie is beneficial for both preventing and repairing sun damage, so make sure you amp up your intake during the warmer months.
Try it in: SPF Smoothie from Hello Glow13