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Summer beauty tips: Eat tomatoes to prevent your skin from sun damage

Lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, acts as a protective shield to defend skin cells from harmful UV rays. ©Shutterstock

Research has shown that eating tomato paste could help protect the skin from UV damage and UV-induced reddening. Read to know the other foods that have natural SPF qualities.

Sunscreen is essential to protect your skin from sun damage. Dermatologists recommend wearing sunblock all the time, even when you're inside the house during quarantine. For extra protection against the harmful UV rays, increase your intake of tomatoes. Yes, you heard it right. Tomatoes can act as a natural sunblock for your skin.

Researchers at the University of Michigan have revealed that lycopene, an antioxidant found in tomatoes, can help prevent your skin from sunburn. They found that people who consumed 40 grams of tomato paste daily (i.e. about 16 milligrams of lycopene), were better protected against ultraviolet rays than those who hadn't consumed tomato paste.

The free radicals, which can be caused by UV rays, can damage the skin cells. Lycopene acts as a protective shield to defend the cells from the attack. As per studies, lycopene is best found in tomato paste. Tomatoes also contains a pigment called luetin, which can help hydrate your skin and increase its elasticity. There are some other foods that have natural SPF qualities. These include -

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Blackcurrants

Blackcurrant is a common ingredient in many sunblock lotions. The fruit that grows in Europe has been known for its therapeutic properties such as better eyesight. Tea made from its leaves is used to treat rheumatism and improve digestion.

Watermelon

Watermelon is also a good source of lycopene that protects the skin against sunburn and skin cancer. Besides, water is 90% water which will help keep your body hydrated during summer.

Berries

Berries contain antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which play key roles in protecting the skin from sun damage. They can also help treat sunburned skin. If you suffer from sunburn, mash a few strawberries and apply on your skin. Strawberries contain tannins which can give relief from sunburn.

Dark chocolate

Studies have shown that antioxidants like phenols and catechins can protect the skin from sunburn and skin cancer. Cocoa is an excellent source of these antioxidants. It is said that cocoa contains four times as much phenols and catechins as tea. But don't add milk should to the chocolate as it can interfere with the absorption of its antioxidants. The ideal dose is 2 ounces of dark chocolate a day.

Black grapes

High in antioxidants, black grapes can help block the sun's harmful rays, prevent wrinkles and increase your skin's elasticity. The fruit also contains a good amount of Vitamin E which keeps the skin moisturized. In addition, the Vitamin C in the grapes will help revitalize the skin cells.

Green tea

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which can fight against free radicals which is responsible for 80 percent of skin aging. Researchers also say drinking two or more cups of green tea a day reduces the risk of developing squamous cell skin cancer by 30 percent.

Butternut squash

The fruit is a good source of beta-carotene, which is known for its potential to block the harmful effects of UV radiation. You can get 4570 g of beta-carotene in 100g of butternut squash.

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