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Nourish Your Skin from Within: 5 Foods That Shield Against Sun Damage

As cyclists, we spend countless hours basking in the sun’s radiant light, pedaling through winding trails and open roads. While the heat of the sun’s rays is invigorating, prolonged exposure can take a toll on the health of our skin. Fortunately, nature provides us with a wealth of nutritious foods that can strengthen our skin’s defenses against the harmful effects of the sun. In this article, we delve into five culinary allies that can help you protect your skin from the inside out.

Embrace the Mediterranean diet
“The Mediterranean diet focuses on the consumption of plants – fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts – and monounsaturated fats. This ensures that people consume ample amounts of foods containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, which provide a protective component to our skin, especially against damage caused by the sun and other environmental factors including pollution,” explains Jennifer O’Donnell-Giles, M.S., R.D.N., C.S.S.D., owner of Eat 4 Sport. A report published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who followed the Mediterranean diet more closely over a 15-year period benefited from a lower risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma and cell carcinomas. basil.

Indulge in grapes
Grapes are a sweet treat that packs a powerful punch against sun-induced skin damage. As stated in a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, “people who consumed a freeze-dried grape powder every day for 14 days – the equivalent of 2.25 cups of fresh grapes per day – had a significant increase of antioxidant polyphenols in their skin. This is likely why they were nearly 75% more resistant to ultraviolet light-induced sunburn. The biopsy results also revealed an association between grape consumption and less cell damage of the skin and fewer inflammatory markers after exposure to UV rays.

Embrace a colorful plate
A study published in the journal PLUS ONE determined that an increase in the intake of carotenoids (yellow, red and orange pigments in plants) – found in bright vegetables such as sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, carrots and peppers – over six weeks may have a beneficial effect on reducing UV-induced skin redness and other discolorations. “Carotenoids can accumulate in the epidermis of our skin where they are effective in stopping the formation of cancer cells,” says Giles.

Go salmon fishing
Salmon is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids which may offer natural protection from the sun’s rays. As reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Researchers at the University of Manchester found that people who supplemented their diets with omega-3s and then were exposed to the equivalent of 8, 15, or 30 minutes of midday sun summer experienced up to 50% less sunlight-induced immune system suppression – which affects the body’s ability to fend off cancer and skin infections – than participants who did not consume omega-3 fats.

Almond brittle
A study from the University of California-Davis suggests that a daily almond habit could benefit skin health by improving measurements of the width and severity of wrinkles. “The total amount of almonds consumed by postmenopausal women in the study was about 2 ounces per day for four months. It is not known whether lower amounts of nut intake in other demographics may also benefit skin appearance. However, , researchers are optimistic that the nutritional stew in almonds, including beneficial fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, may have beneficial powers for everyone’s skin.

As cyclists we savor the thrill of the open road and the caress of the sun’s warmth. By incorporating these five nutritious foods into our diet, we can strengthen our skin’s defenses against the sun’s damaging effects, ensuring our rides remain a source of joy and vitality for years to come.

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