Clean Eating

Can you “eat” your sunscreen?

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Not literally, but certain foods may act as an internal sunscreen, so to speak. “Any fruit or vegetable high in antioxidan­ts can help support your ability to maximize the cellular functions that turn up your internal DNA protective systems,” Shamban says. Focus on eating dark leafy greens like kale and spinach, which are high in the antioxidan­ts lutein and zeaxanthin, and various berries, which have vitamins A, C, E and other antioxidan­ts to bolster their sun-protective e orts. A recent study from the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatolog­y even found that grapes might aid your skin’s sun defenses. You might also consider taking an oral supplement with the natural botanical extract Polypodium leucotomos, Shamban says. According to a study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatolog­y, it may protect against the damaging e ects of UV radiation. Just keep in mind a warning that the FDA issued in 2018 about these supplement­s: “There’s no pill or capsule that can replace your sunscreen.” Whether you load your diet with the foods mentioned above or pop a supplement, none of them replaces sunscreen. “While it’s always good to boost the function and capacity of your body’s own defense system, it’s not enough alone to fight o cancer and damage or aging from ultraviole­t rays,” Shamban says. Sunscreen still remains your best defense.

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