With summer upon us we want to make sure that we protect our skin from sun exposure. We tend to spend more time outdoors at the park, exercising,.festivals, the beach, amusement parks, and the list can go on. It is always good to protect your skin if you plan to be out in the sun for long periods of time. The summer time has some excellent sources of food that can aid in the protection against the sun. Here are some summer foods that will give you some added protection while you are out enjoying the sun.
This is one of the fruits that I love to add to smoothies, it is just enough tartness and sweetness for me. These babies are packed with as much vitamin C as oranges, vitamin A, and potassium. Vitamin C provides protection to the skin from damaging free radicals – sun damage. Just having 1/2 cup of strawberries provides 70% of the RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) of vitamin C.
Watermelon is one of the fruits that I love to have for breakfast and also sprinkle a little salt on it. I have been doing that since I was a kind, it brings out the sweetness of the watermelon….the same way you add salt to sweets to bring out the sweetness. Watermelons are about 92 percent water and 8 percent sugar. Watermelon, is a good source of lycopene – which protects against UV exposure. They are also a good source of vitamin C and A, and potassium.
You know you always see these in the grocery store as the base for the fruit bowls but this is another melon that packs a punch . The orange color of its flesh comes from beta carotene, which is an antioxidants that protects your skin from free radicals. Cantaloupe also offers tons of Vitamin C, just as much as oranges
I am currently growing these on my balcony and these babies need at least 6 – 8 hours of sun to grow, so you know these are perfect to protect you against those UV exposure. Tomatoes are very high in the antioxidant, lycopene, which helps protect you against UV exposure. The lycopene in the tomatoes increases when cooked. They are also high in vitamin C, a good source of vitamins A and B complex, and potassium. Beta carotene is also found in tomatoes giving the tomatoes their red color – another antioxidant that protects against free radicals.
Another favorite of mine that I have growing in my garden, the red and orange peppers are especially good for sun protection. The beta carotene that gives them their color protects against the sun. They are good source for vitamin C – red bell peppers have about three times as much vitamin C than citrus fruit.
Dark Leafy Greens: Spinach, Chard, Collards
Leafy greens such as kale, collard greens, and turnip greens are rich in beta carotene, vitamin C and other properties that fight against cancer. They are a good source of fiber, minerals, and calcium (just about the same amount as cows milk).
These are all currently in season and should be easily accessible for you to get. These items are about of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list – produce that has the most pesticide residue. Look out for for these items next time your at your local farmers market or grocery store.