Here is a way to increase your body’s natural sun blocking properties by including several foods that will help you avoid sunburn naturally.
Carotenoids are members of a family of nutrients that protect plants and animals from excess sunshine. Just like melanin, they are colorful molecules that reflect UV rays. About 700 different types of carotenoids have been identified. Each of the pigments functions as Mother Nature’s sun block. When humans ingest carotenoids, they are deposited into the skin to prevent sunburn and (ultimately) oxidative stress, which can lead to cancer.
Leading sources of carotenoids are eggs, spirulina, chlorella, dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, collards, and spinach), and yellow-orange fruits and vegetables (apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, and squash).
The recommended daily intake of carotenoids is 100 to 200 grams per day of these foods.
Another reason to eat salmon: The most potent carotenoid is a red pigment found in salmon, trout, shrimp, and lobsters. It is known as astaxanthin. Once ingested, astaxanthin is 1,000 times more effective at protecting skin from UV damage than other carotenoids.
Edible sun block is your first line of defense against sunburn, cancer, and prematurely aging skin. So make sure you add these foods to your meal planning and pack plenty of carotenoids in your kids’ lunchboxes.