5 Foods to Stock Up On for Ultimate Skin Protection this Summer

With summer fast approaching, protecting your skin is important. But other than lathering your skin with layers of sticky sunscreen, what can you do?

Eating certain foods can help protect your skin. So start stocking up on these skin protectors.

DARK CHOCOLATE Dark chocolate is full of flavonols. These antioxidants not only improve skin texture but also offer a strong resistance to UV rays. So feel free to sample 1 1/2 ounces a day.

GREEN TEA Green tea releases catechins, which are potent antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. A recent study found that by drinking two to six cups a day, individuals can help prevent skin cancer and reverse the sun’s aging effects. Sip green tea while it is hot because as it cools the antioxidant power decreases.

SWEET POTATOES Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, which can help reduce the risk of developing melanoma (according to a 2012 study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology). As an added bonus, sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin C, which is necessary for collagen production.

TOMATOES Lycopene is what gives tomatoes their beautiful red hue. It also helps neutralize free radicals, which can prematurely age your skin. Eat these beauties pureed or cooked to get the most benefits.

WALNUTS Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts reduce the skins anti-inflammatory response, thereby, in a sense, helping to elevate sunburn threshold. Aim for one ounce, or a big handful, a day.

Indulge this summer while protecting your skin!

Source: InStyle Magazine, June 2012