The holiday month is here and with the majority of us choosing sunny destinations for our long-awaited summer breaks, it’s vital to know the necessary measures to keep the sun-kissed look for longer. Being among the tan enthusiasts myself, I have been using a few natural tricks to get a quick tan without harsh damage to the skin. In this posts, I will share these ‘tried and tested’ methods that will help you achieve a healthy-looking bronzing tan.
While the exfoliation process I discussed in the previous summertime post prepares your skin for the sun exposure, eating the right food can enhance the tanning pigments of the skin and help you get darker quicker. Moreover, if you keep these nutrients in your diet during and after tanning, your bronze look will last for longer. My advice is to start consuming the tan-loving food a week before sun exposure and keep this for about a month.
1. CarrotsThis rabbit-favourite vegetable is rich in carotenoids – powerful antioxidants that absorb skin-damaging compounds caused by daily stress. Along with skin protection, carotenoids also provide skin coloration. According to Joan Salge Blake, a clinical associate professor of nutrition at Boston University and a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “ eating carotenoid-rich produce can give you the colour you crave without the wrinkles.” The resulting condition is called carotenemia and gives the skin an orange glow which in combination with sun exposure enhances the skin new bronze tan. I personally recommend eating 3 to 4 medium size raw carrots, either in salads or freshly squeezed. The juice over ice works best for me as it helps me deal with the heat while sunbathing.
2. Beta-carotene foodsThis vital nutrient is also found in green, yellow and leafy vegetables that you can enjoy sparingly during the summer. Whenever possible choose the organic version of the leafy vegetables as they easily absorb harmful chemicals and pesticides used to accelerate their growth. The best from the group include romaine lettuce, bell peppers, kale, red lettuce, spinach, turnips, pumpkin, cabbage and sweet potatoes. Do not eat more than 100 g of pumpkin and sweet potatoes as they have a high in glycaemic index and might affect your summer body.
3. Vitamin AWhen exposed to the sun, our body produces a pigment, called melanin to protect the skin from burning, giving it a darker colour. Vitamin A speeds up the body’s natural production of melanin and eating foods rich in this nutrient will in turn speed up the tanning process.
It is found in beetroot, broccoli, tomatoes, apricots, peaches, melons and lemons. Tomatoes are particularly important as they contain lycopene which is a powerful anti-cancer red caratonede.
4. Vitamin E and Omega 3Vitamin E protects the skin from wrinkles which are often the high price to pay when sunbathing. It also aids skin replenishment and hydration which are vital processes to prevent the tanned skin from peeling. It is found in eggs, corn, tomatoes, avocado and white cheeses.
Omega 3 is a crucial additive to the caroten-rich foods as it helps their absorption by the body. It’s best to get it from extra virgin olive oil by seasoning your summer salads.
Fish, almonds and hazelnuts also contain omega 3 while shrimps, liver and blue fish (tuna, swordfish, mackerel, herrings) contain Vitamin PP which can heal sunburns.
5. Eggs and DairyTyrosine is an essential amino acid that is needed for melanin production. It is found in soy products, chicken, turkey, fish, peanuts, avocados, bananas, milk, cheese, yoghurt, cottage cheese, and pumpkin seeds.
Along with what is best to consume to enhance the skin-tanning process, there are certain foods that should be avoided as they contain vitamin C which can delay tan. These include all citrus fruits as well as parsley and watercress. Also limit foods high in salt, as they can lead to water retention which not only dehydrates the skin but also slows fat metabolism – the worst enemies to your summer body:).
As you can see the tan-loving foods are varied and are usually found in abundance during the summer. Thus make the most of this season and fill your diet with them. Not only will your immune system stalk up on important disease-fighting vitamins for the winter season but your skin will also enjoy a long-lasting sun-kissed look. Give it a try for an enjoyable and healthy sunbathing experience.
With health & balance,