Can food protect you from the sun's damaging rays? - CBS46 News

Can food protect you from the sun's damaging rays?

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

We are fast approaching summer and the weather has made it hard for us not to enjoy it. The foods we eat could help protect us from the sun's damaging rays.

Dr. Jamie Weisman is the director of the Peachtree Dermatology Research Center in Atlanta.

"We know that antioxidants are generally cancer protective," Weisman says. Strawberries, leafy greens, and blueberries are some examples. Antioxidants are molecules that help prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Salmon and other fatty fish are packed with omega 3 fatty acids that are considered potent antioxidants. In some studies they have been shown to prevent skin cancer.

Red vegetables like tomatoes contain lycopene. They help rid the body of cancer-causing agents. Fruits like grapefruits and oranges have shown to be effective in boosting the skin's protective layer.

A little bit of dark chocolate in your diet doesn't hurt. It contains flavanoids which help keep skin hydrated.

Eating alone will not give you full protection from the sun's rays. This is where sunscreen comes in. Weisman suggests that you look at the back of the bottle and search for ingredients such as zinc and titanium.

"Sunscreen only stays on your skin for at most three hours," Weisman says. "It is best to reapply often to get full protection."

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