Nature’s sunscreen (it’s something you eat)

Dr. Janet Zand

July 9, 2021

 

 
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Everyone knows they should use sunscreen to block UV rays. But there's another often-overlooked way to protect your skin from the sun: functional foods.

Functional foods are foods that offer health benefits beyond their nutritional value. For example, salmon has omega-3 fatty acids, so it helps prevent heart disease.

And as it turns out, there are also functional foods that protect your skin from UV damage. (They’re delicious, too!)

Functional foods that protect skin

To explain what these foods are, you need to know about one of the critical nutrients they have in common: chlorogenic acid.

Chlorogenic acid is a compound found in certain types of plants. There’s evidence that it can reduce blood sugar levels, improve circulation, and help with weight loss, and more. And now researchers are finding that it can protect skin from photoaging, too.

Indeed, studies show that chlorogenic acid can protect skin-cells from UVB rays. It can keep skin hydrated. And it can even boost collagen.

You can buy chlorogenic acid in supplement form. Supplemental chlorogenic acid appears to have benefit in the range of 120-300 mg. Or, you can simply eat these foods:

• Apples

• Artichoke

• Carrots

• Green coffee beans

• Eggplants

• Grapes

• Kiwi fruit

• Pears

• Plum

• Potatoes

• Tea

• Tomatoes

So… try to add more of these foods to your diet this summer (in addition to using sunscreen, of course). That way you’ll protect your skin from UV rays -- both inside and out!

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