Natural Sun Protection Tips To Add To Your SPF

(Source: DenisovDmitry, iStock/Thinkstock) As warmer weather hits, SPF is on our minds as a key tool in sun protection. But from a holistic perspective, did you know that certain foods can help shield your skin from the sun's harmful rays––and keep it looking younger, too? While these foods are no substitute for sunscreen, we spoke with Stephanie Clarke MS, RD and Willow Jarosh MS, RD, co-founders of C&J Nutrition, a NYC-based private practice, consulting, and workplace wellness company, to learn more about eating right for your skin under the sun.

1. Dark Green Veggies: "Protect your eyes from the damaging effects of UV rays by eating a diet rich in the antioxidant lutein. Lutein acts as a light filter becoming concentrated in a certain area of the eye and shielding it against the sun's harmful rays. Some of the best sources of lutein include green leafy veggies such as spinach, kale, collards and turnip greens, as well as broccoli."

2. Green Tea: "Compounds in green tea called catechins can help protect your skin from the sun's UV rays. According to research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the amount of catechins in just two cups of tea a day can offer significant protection against ultraviolet radiation from the sun. All the more reason to sip on iced green tea this summer!"

3. Fish: "Fatty fish such as salmon and sardines are major sources of Omega 3 fatty acids, which may protect against sunburn and cell changes that can lead to cancer."

4. Dark Chocolate: "Give in to your chocolate craving! Go ahead and indulge a little. Dark chocolate contains cocoa flavonols that research has shown to offer protection for the skin against UV rays."
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