Dr Alex George gives advice on sunburn and suncream in 2021
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As temperatures soar across Britain, it’s vital people are wearing suncream to pitch from harmful UV rays. If a person is prone to burning, they may not realise that their diet plays a huge impact on how their skin reacts to the sun.
Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer from Feel Alive UK, revealed just how important it is to be eating a balanced diet rich in foods that help protect against exposure.
“Food provides some of the best sunscreens around,” she said.
“And that’s because sunburn is a type of inflammation, and diet has a tremendous impact on inflammation in the body.
“Your diet can increase or decrease your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, as well as its ability to repair itself when it does get damaged.”
For a person to reduce sun sensitivity and risk of sun damage, Suzie recommended eating enough anti-inflammatory foods.
Healthy fats rich in Omega-3s help to reduce inflammation in the body and promote healing.
Good sources of this include fish (such as sardines and salmon), eggs, flaxseed, and walnuts. Suzie added: “Omega-3s are also available in supplement form via fish oil and flaxseed oil (vegan).”
Look for Omega-3s rich foods such as:
Fish and other seafood
Nuts and seeds
Fruit and vegetables provide most of the 40 to 50 carotenoids found in the human diet, containing skin-protecting antioxidants.
They are beneficial antioxidants that can protect the body from disease and enhance the immune system.
Provitamin A carotenoids can be converted into vitamin A, which is essential for growth, immune system function, and eye health, according to Healthline.
Suzie explained: “Carotenoids provide even greater protection against UV damage, and UVA-induced pigmentation.”
Foods rich in carotenoids include:
Antioxidants help reduce inflammation and free radicals in cells, as well as protect against sunburn and skin damage.
In addition to veggies, berries, beans, nuts and green or black tea have high antioxidant properties.
Suzie added: “Though the first step of good sun protection is keeping your skin healthy from the inside out, it’s also important to protect your skin from excessive exposure and use sunscreen coverage.”
Eat foods high in antioxidants such as:
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