Certified Nutrition Therapist Maria Zilka explained that there are foods that can help be part of your defense from the damaging effects of too much summer sun. There are several nutrients that are known to play a role in the proper growth and immunity of the skin, and these include antioxidants, essential fatty acids (EFAs), vitamins and minerals derived from a whole food diet. These include:
Lycopene and Vitamin E - for sunprotection
Astaxanthin - antiaging through collagen production
Vitamin A - for rough,dry skin
Zinc - interacts with vitamin A to significantly increase its positive effect on acne
Vitamin C - known to play a crucial role in the production of collagen. (Interestingly, a vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, which is first manifested as rough dry skin and corkscrew hair growth.)
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - protects skin from toxins and reduces appearance of dark spots
Avocados - A good source of biotin, avocados help to prevent dry skin and brittle hair and nails. When applied topically, they can hydrate parched skin.
Tomatoes - The antioxidant, lycopene, found in tomatoes helps prevent sunburn when combined with olive oil.
Salmon - Salmon contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, meaning fewer fine lines.
Eggs - Protein helps repair cells that have suffered free radical damage. Eggs, a complete source of protein, also contain biotin, an essential vitamin that protects against dry skin.
Walnuts - Walnuts are a rich source of Omega-3s, which help put shine in your hair and help to make skin smoother and younger looking.
Cultured and Fermented foods - Reducing inflammation and imbalance in the gut has an observable improvement in the appearance of a person's skin.
For Maria's recipes head to our recipe page.