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After the dark, cold winter months, finally blossoming our way with multiple rays of sunshine, comes summer, followed by the spirit of vacationing, traveling and exploring the multitude of places where we can strip our clothes off and bask in the glory of the sun shining happily above our heads.
As fun as summer can be, with a plethora of beach days, pool parties, traveling, and having a perfect Gossip Girl's Hamptons kind of summer, it also comes with a number of problems that nobody mentions on TV shows or movies, from where we so creatively extract ideas of a perfect summer holiday.
The most annoying issue, which completely kills out the buzz for this season that apparently is supposed to bring a lot of joy and happiness, are sunburns. Most of us use sunscreens to protect ourselves from the glaring heat the sun emits mercilessly on us fragile humans.
This practice should be continued, for most of the part, however, it is also important to note that there are certain food items that we should include in our everyday diet, which will keep us cool from the inside as well as protect our skin from sunburn.
1. Green Tea
Most of us have heard about green tea as an incredible agent in helping weight loss. That is not the only benefit green tea has, do not have that misconception. Green tea is one of the most enriching drinks that protects us from heart diseases, Alzheimer's, eye diseases and many more diseases that threaten to harm us in any way.
It is also one of the most important dietary items required to protect our skin from the UV rays of the sun. Green Tea contains antioxidants called EGCGs, which is one group of plant phenols named tannins. It has innumerable health benefits, one among them is that it helps in stopping serious damage from happening to the skin cells that are exposed to the harmful UV rays of the sun.
Tomatoes are endowed with this amazing and certainly effective antioxidant known as lycopene. Lycopene, along with Vitamin C, gives tomatoes its red colour as well as keeps the skin and body hydrated. Moreover, it prevents the UV rays from penetrating our skin and keeps our skin tissues vulnerable to the UV rays, protected and safe.
Strawberries, apart from tasting absolutely heavenly, are full of Vitamins A, B, and C. Vitamin C especially helps keep our skin hydrated, as mentioned above. It directly helps in blocking out UV rays through the anthocyanins that are found in strawberries, also responsible for the colour the fruit possesses and unabashedly boasts.
These anthocyanins and phytonutrients block the sun rays from damaging our body. Anthocyanins are compounds containing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which provide protection to our skin.
A food item that favours our taste buds like no other. A research found out that cocoa beans with high levels of flavonoids is mighty helpful in protecting our skin from the harsh rays of the sun, which causes sunburn and other sorts of skin damage. However, this property is only limited to dark chocolate, as the quality of a chocolate is measured through the amount of raw cocoa it contains and the rawer the cocoa, the higher the level of antioxidants it contains.
5. Leafy Green Vegetables
These vegetables include free radical-fighting antioxidants that protect one from the sun's damaging rays which has adverse effects on our skin. Vegetables like spinach, coriander, kale, etc., especially ones that are dark green in colour are more effective in helping us maintain our skin and safeguarding it during the summer.
Foods rich in omega-3 like fish oil, lettuce, and chia seeds are known for improving the health of our skin by fighting off acne, tightening our skin as well as maintain a glow on our skin.
Apart from these properties, it is also known for protecting our skin from UV rays and lowering the risk of cancer, therefore, protecting our skin from skin cancer, sunburn and avoiding free radicals from damaging our skin.
Cucumbers are known far and wide for their hydrating properties. It keeps our body and skin cool and hydrated during the summer months, not letting the hot weather increase the heat levels in our body. Moreover, cucumbers contain tannins, vitamin C, flavonoids and other antioxidants that protect our skin from sun's catastrophic rays.
Another fruit known best for its water content and hydrating properties. It is a must during summers, as it is a huge store of water and it is sweet and juicy which is a plus point. In addition, it is rich in antioxidants and therefore protects our body from the UV rays.
Carrots are a wonderful source of Vitamin A and therefore are immensely beneficial to our eyes. They essentially contain beta-carotene, which our body turns into Vitamin A. Research on this topic has shown there to be a link between reduction of sunburn and consumption of beta-carotene prevalent in carrots.
That's it for our summer essential food list. Although, sunscreen is still a must!