Summertime in the desert means sunshine and swimming pools. Prepare yourself for celebrations in the sun by indulging in summer fruits like watermelon, tomatoes – which are technically fruit because they are ‘the fruit of the plant’, pink grapefruit and pomegranates. These fruits are high in Vitamins A, C and E, antioxidants and carotenoids like lycopene and have been proven to boost your body’s own natural ability to produce an internal sunscreen which naturally protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Watermelon and tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene which can only be found in a few plants and can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancers including skin and prostate cancers. Cooking tomatoes is the best way for your body to absorb the lycopene and is particularly effective in the form of tomato paste. Diets rich in tomato based meals will help you reach optimum daily levels of lycopene and natural SPF protection and can be accomplished by eating 4 fresh tomatoes, ½ cup of pasta sauce or 4 teaspoons of tomato paste a day. A watermelon smoothie made with two cups of watermelon, a splash of lemon juice, a bit of ginger and a dash of mint is delicious and produces a higher level of internal SPF than tomatoes. Two pink grapefruit a day will also the trick but consuming pomegranates is one of the best ways to protect your skin and can increase your natural, internal SPF by 25%.
A comprehensive approach to sun protection is the best idea to protect your skin this summer including hats and sunglasses, choosing the shade when possible and applying a sunscreen that provides UVA and UVB protection.
Be happy on the inside – eat watermelon, tomatoes, pink grapefruit and pomegranates and be happy on the outside too.