Healthy Foods, Healthy Skin

New research suggests some foods have the power to guard skin from the damage caused by the sun's UV radiation. While a salad is no substitute for sunblock, these healthy foods could add inner protection against sunburn and wrinkles at the cellular level.

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Citrus Fruits

Citrus FruitsiStock/Floortje
Citrus fruits have the potent ingredient limonene, associated with a whopping 34 percent lower risk of skin cancer in one University of Arizona study of 470 women and men.

Green tea

Green teaiStock/studiocasper
This delicately flavored tea is full of antioxidants called EGCGs. Among their health-promoting capabilities: EGCGs stopped genetic damage in human skin cells exposed to UV light in one University of Wisconsin study.


Carrots—or any other red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables—are packed with carotenoids, and studies show they reduce sunburn intensity.

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Red Peppers

Red PeppersiStock/anna1311
Like carrots, red peppers are also especially helpful in reducing sunburn intensity.


Leafy greens, like dark green lettuce, spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, are top sources of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which halted cell growth prompted by UV light in animal studies.


This fish is a great source of oils rich in omega-3 fatty acids. In a small British study, fish oils guarded against sunburn and DNA changes that can lead to cancer.

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Like salmon, walnuts are high is essential fatty acids that could guard against sunburn.

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