It's the classic summer battle: you want to tan, but you also want to avoid harmful UV rays. Again, this is where the right food can save the day!
From skin cancer to premature skin aging, the sun can become an enemy that must always be watched. Still, most of us love our appearance with a perfect, golden summer tan – which brings us to the good news...
Adding certain fruits and vegetables to your diet and taking dietary supplements can actually give your skin a glow that resembles a beach tan .
A recent study demonstrated that subjects who had a natural tan produced by a diet high in certain vitamins and minerals were rated as " more attractive " than those who had a suntan.
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8 healthy foods that brighten your complexion and help protect your skin
1. Sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are one of the most versatile vegetables. From fries to pies, sweet potatoes can be used for almost anything in the kitchen.
But did you know they can also be used to brighten your complexion ?
Sweet potatoes have the highest levels of carotenoids of any other vegetable, the nutrient responsible for that natural tanning effect.
And if that's not enough to get your heart pumping, sweet potatoes are also rich in vitamin B6 and potassium, which are important for improving heart health.
2. Green tea
With its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties, green tea can help your skin in a number of ways.
Not only can it protect your skin from premature aging, UV damage, redness and irritation, but it also has the ability to fight bacteria that can lead to acne breakouts.
3. The carrot
Nothing new. Carrots have always been known to alter skin color, but they won't turn you orange, contrary to popular belief.
Instead, their high levels of carotenoids will give you that perfect, sun-kissed glow everyone is looking for. They are also high in vitamin A, which can improve eyesight and protect your skin from sun damage .
Just one medium carrot provides you with 200% of your daily recommended vitamin A intake, making carrots a win-win for you and your skin!
A famous phrase says: one mango a day can make tan lines last!
This tangy tropical fruit can be found on every smoothie menu across the country and for good reason: They're packed with tan-boosting carotenoids and antioxidants that protect the skin.
5. Red pepper
Red bell peppers get their vibrant color from carotenoids, but eating them won't turn your skin red.
These carotenoids work the same way they do in all other vegetables and give you your beloved bronzed, summery glow .
Alongside these carotenoids, high levels of vitamins C and A make red bell peppers a killer skincare combo. In addition to skin health, these vitamins do amazing things for your eyesight. For skin improvement you can really see, add red bell pepper to your next summer salad.
Tomatoes are one of the most universally used foods. As with the red pepper, its red color signifies the presence of carotenoids, and one of the most important carotenoids in tomatoes is called lycopene .
Spinach is that leafy green that probably made your face wrinkle as a kid, but we have a feeling you'll be eating handfuls of it when you hear about its skin-tinting effects.
Spinach is rich in these tan-producing carotenoids while packing heaps of vitamin K in its leaves.
As the summer months heat up, people become more concerned with staying hydrated. In addition to water, melon can help you through the summer months with its high water and electrolyte content.
The melon is composed of about 90% water and its orange color comes from the carotenoids contained in the flesh.
So, to avoid the dehydrating and skin-burning effects of the sun, grab a slice of melon.