Edible Sunscreen Every Athlete Should Know About
Over the last 10 years or so, there has been some heated controversy about sunscreen. Some doctors are now saying the chemicals in nearly all sunscreens are toxic, and can do more harm than good. Of course, many other doctors say you must wear sunscreen while outdoors to protect yourself from ultraviolet rays (UVA, UVB) that can cause skin cancer. Whatever you decide to do, wear sunscreen or not; there is one sun protection method you should know about. It isn’t talked about much in the mainstream media, but that doesn’t mean this subject is any less important.
This “edible” sunscreen is probably already in your fridge. Recent studies show that eating tomatoes, carrots, papaya, watermelon, grapefruit, red peppers, red (purple) cabbage, and other reddish fruits and vegetables will offer some protection against sunburns and skin damage. The antioxidant lycopene found in these foods have been proven to act as a natural, internal sunscreen.
A 12-week study in the UK tested 23 women who normally burn from the sun very easily. Before the research, all were exposed to a UV lamp, and all of them showed signs of moderate sunburn after just 20 minutes of exposure.
After the UV test, 12 of them were asked to eat 55 grams of tomato paste every day for 12 weeks. This gave them a daily dose of 16mg of Lycopene. The other 11 did not make any changes to their diet.
After the 12-week period, all of the women were exposed to the same UV radiation lamp for 20 minutes once again.
The ones who ate the tomato paste experienced an incredible 30% reduction in sunburn. The ones who didn’t eat tomatoes showed no signs of change in their skin reddening, and were just as sun-sensitive as before.
These fruits and vegetables have many positive health benefits besides acting as a sunscreen, such as anti-aging properties, and they may even reduce the risk of getting some cancers. Whether you decide to use sunscreen or not, there is one thing that is not controversial to one’s health, and that is eating lots of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables.