Nature’s Sunscreen: 3 Foods that Fight Sun Damage

Dr. Janet Zand

May 22, 2020

If you’re like most people, you probably use sunscreen when you go out in the sun. But there’s also another great way to protect your skin from sun damage.

It’s by eating certain foods.

That’s right, eating certain foods can actually boost your skin’s SPF naturally!

Here’s the story...

Researchers took a group of people and exposed them to a controlled amount of UV radiation. Afterward, the researchers measured the level of redness in everyone’s skin.

Then, the researchers gave half the group a drink that was rich in bioflavonoids. And they gave the other half a “fake” drink with little nutritional value. Finally, they exposed everyone to the UV rays again.

Result: The group that got the high-flavonoid drink had a 15-25% reduction in UV-induced redness! Meanwhile, the group that got the “fake” drink had no reduction at all.

Even more interesting, the high-flavonoid group enjoyed additional skin benefits, like:

• increased skin thickness
• increased skin hydration
• increased blood flow
• less skin roughness

In other words, overall they had better, younger-looking skin.

So how can you get more flavonoids in YOUR diet?

Well, here are three easy (and delicious) ways to get more flavonoids:

1. Drink green tea. Green tea is full of flavonoids, especially polyphenols.  And it can help you start your day (or pick you up in the afternoon).

2. Eat a rainbow of fruits and veggies. Bright-colored foods like berries, apples, citrus fruits, asparagus, and leafy greens are also high in flavonoids. So mix it up and make sure you’re eating a variety of colorful produce.

3. Eat chocolate. Yes, it turns out that every time you eat a piece of chocolate, you’re getting a dose of flavonoids! Just make sure you opt for dark chocolate, which has more cacao and generally less sugar.

And here’s a simple way to remember to eat all those SPF-boosting foods:

Aim for one flavonoid-rich food at each meal.

That can be as simple as blueberries on your oatmeal in the morning, adding a handful of spinach to your pasta sauce, or having an orange as a snack.

Bottom line: When it comes to protecting your skin from UV damage, consider your diet, too. That way you can protect your skin from the inside out!

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