You already know to lather on the sunscreen when you’re heading out for a day at the beach or any day the UVs are strong. And you know that you should wear sunscreen every day, even if you forget more often than not. But what if you could give your sunscreen an extra boost of effectiveness while also helping to repair the damage the sun does to your skin by simply eating? Hiding at the farm stand, at the fish market, and in the produce aisle are foods proven to help protect and heal your skin from sun damage. Consider this your guide to eating your way to better skin.

 

Protect your skin with: Chocolate

Sweet tooth lovers, rejoice and go ahead and give into that chocolate craving. Scientists’ orders. Dark chocolate made from 65 percent or more raw cacao contains antioxidants called flavonoids that, according to German researchers, help improve your skin’s complexion and protect it from UV rays.

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Protect your skin with: Citrus

Good thing you’ve been making drinks with lemons and limes all summer, blending oranges in smoothies, and eating grapefruits in the morning. All that Vitamin C citrus fruits are famous for combined with their other vitamins, like vitamin E, can reduce the potential for sunburn while helping to give your skin a radiant glow.

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Limes | Photo via Henry Zbyszynski on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

 

Protect your skin with: Fish

Lobster rolls, clam bakes, fish friesit’s not really summer without them. And here’s your excuse to plan a few more seafood dinner parties this year. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, think salmon and shellfish, may actually help protect against sunburn and  cancer.

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Scallops | Photo via stu_spivack on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

Protect your skin with: Green Tea

There are almost too many green tea benefits to count: metabolism booster, artery-clogging prevention, improved brain function. And now you can add skin protector. Studies show that the antioxidants in green tea may protect against sunburn and that tannic acid, also found in green tea, helps heal sunburns. Go ahead and order that iced matcha green tea latte.

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Protect your skin with: Leafy Greens

Your mother was right when she said to eat your greens. If it’s green and leaf-like it’s good for your skin. Herbs like parsley, basil, and rosemary are chalk full of skin-protecting antioxidants and salad favorites, such as spinach, swiss chard, and kale, contain carotenoids which may also protect against skin damage.

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Protect your skin with: Strawberries

Nosh on a handful of strawberries, or order creamy strawberry ice cream at the beach and your skin will thank you. The sweet, red berry is full of antioxidants and Vitamin C that protect your skin from sun damage while also helping sunburned skin heal.

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Protect your skin with: Tomatoes

Tomatoes may be the best thing you can eat for your skin. Not only will the carotenoids protect your skin from sunburn, they can also protect your skin from wrinkles. The trick, however, is to not peel the tomatoes if you want to reap the maximum benefits.

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