The starch in potatoes can help reduce the harm of the sunburn. Sweet potato is a good healthier option, and is just like carrots is high in the skin-protecting beta-carotene and vitamin C. Opt for the sweet potato as it has several health benefits is very versatile. Roast four to five potatoes in the oven and add to your green salad.
Start your morning with green tea or match tea, iced or hot. The tea contains a natural chemical and antioxidants that fight free radicals and inflammations. According to a study drinking two cups a day could lower incidences of melanoma. However, as it contains caffeine it is dehydrating so limit your intake to three to four cups a day. Rooibos tea is a good alternative, as it is caffeine-free but still contains good antioxidants.
Oatmeal has a free radical fighting antioxidant called avenanthramides that you can't find in any other food. A bowl a day for breakfast is a good daily intake.
Eat a lot of vitamin C-rich berries and fruits such as strawberries, blackberries and kiwi during the summer months. The vitamin C and the phytonutrient act like a natural sunblock and helps to prevent you from burning. A 100-gram of strawberries and 1.5 kiwis cover your daily need of vitamin C.
Guava is another fruit that is high in vitamin C and is good for healing skin. One serving of Guava contains five times more vitamin C than an orange.
Cucumbers contains mostly water, which helps your skin to stay hydrated. The vegetable also helps to produce collagen, which is a good anti-cancer property.
Tomatoes are one of the top sun damaged super foods. All types of tomatoes are full of antioxidants that help to protect your skin from UV-radiation. The vitamin C and the lycopene found in tomatoes helps to keep the skin hydrated and fight free radicals. Cooked tomatoes contain even more lycopene than fresh ones. Lycopene has other health benefits including improving the heart health and preventing diabetes. According to a study, if you eat four tablespoons of tomato paste in olive oil each day for three months it will protect you against sunburn.
This fruit works just like tomatoes. It is rich in antioxidants, which limit the UV-radiation on your body. It is also full of water so eat three to four slices a day to stay hydrated during the warm summer months. However, don't overeat as the sugar may increase the blood sugar levels.
Leafy greens are high in vitamin A and help to protect you from the UV radiation, limit dryness and irritation of your skin. Eat greens twice a day for the best results. Use spinach as a foundation to your salad as it is rich in beta-carotene.
If you need a treat, dark chocolate is the one to eat during the summer as it contains antioxidants called flavonoids (just like green tea). It makes your skin smoother and protect from the sun's radiation. Eat chocolate that has more than 70% cacao, and keep it to no more than one pack a week.
Carrots are another sun fighting power food. The beta-carotene in carrots converts to vitamin A in the body, has been linked to reduce reaction to sunburn. Try to eat a few carrots a day. Cut them in sticks and eat them with guacamole, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids and helps to reduce the risk of sunburn and develop an even skin tone. Dairy products like natural yogurt, also contains a lot of vitamin A. If carrots are not your favorite you can go with other vitamin A food such as liver and other organ meats, eel, root vegetables, fruit, tuna, egg, low fat dairy, mango, kale, apricot, spinach and nettles.
This fruit is extremely rich in antioxidants, ellagic acid and has anti-inflammatory agents, which can help your skin to resists cell damaged caused by UVA and UVB rays. Pomegranates have been proven to be beneficial to our health and fighting against aging and sun-damaged skin. Try to eat two to three fruits a week, either the seeds with natural yogurt or sprinkled over your salad, or drink a fresh pomegranate juice with ice.
Buttermilk is a great tool against dehydration. It has salt, water, curd and spices all mixed to make a delicious drink. It also contains a lot of vitamins and reduces high blood pressure. This milk is a bit sourer than ordinary milk. Buttermilk has lower pH value, which can be helpful after a sunburn as it helps your skin recover faster.
This vinegar is a good home remedy for sunburns. Spray the white vinegar directly on the affected skin or use a compress. Alternatively, you can use Aloe Vera gel.
Calendula oil heals and has anti-inflammatory agents. The cooling oil helps to soothe damaged skin. Avoid calendula if you're pregnant or when breast feeding since there is no research about how children react to this herb. Couples that are trying get pregnant should avoid it as well as research suggests that calendula can be toxic to the sperm and may prevent a fertilised egg from implanting properly.
Article by Lovisa Nilsson. Lovisa is the in-house nutritionist at leading health and fitness app, Lifesum