Tomato paste and sun protection
Other excellent food sources of antioxidants
Tomato paste and sun protection
For sun protection and a younger-looking skin, don't bother with high-priced face creams or hours of skin-care every day. Just buy some tomato paste.
Did you know that the level of antioxidants in your diet can have a significant effect on your resistance to sunburn? I have tried it myself. Eating high-antioxidant foods for a couple of months allowed me to stay in the sun for about twice the time that I could previously, without any sign of redness on my skin the following day. (sunlight is highly beneficial).
Eating a little tomato paste mixed with oil every day is an excellent way to protect against sunburn, skin cancer, wrinkles, and to slow your aging. In a study (1) one group consumed 40 grams (2.5 tablespoons) of tomato paste mixed with 10 grams (2 teaspoons) of olive oil every day for 10 weeks, while the control group got only the olive oil. Both groups were exposed to a sun lamp at the beginning, middle, and end of the study. The UV exposure was just sufficient to lightly burn their skin. At the beginning of the study, and after four weeks, those who were eating tomato paste had little additional resistance to the sun. But after ten weeks the tomato-paste group showed 40 % less sun damage than the other group.
Tomatoes are one of the best sources of lycopene, a powerful antioxidant present in the red pigment. Interestingly, the tomato must be cooked and eaten with oil before you can absorb the lycopene. We can thank the Italians who developed Marinara sauce centuries ago, for the delicious combination of tomato, olive oil, garlic, basil, sage and thyme!
Other food sources of antioxidants
- Spinach contains a cocktail of micronutrients (including vitamins A, C, and E; folate, and two carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin).
- Berries. Raspberries, blueberries, gooseberries, blackberries, black grapes and most other dark or purple berries are loaded with vitamins and antioxidants. While all berries are good cancer fighters, black raspberries are the all-stars. Try to eat a few most days.
- Pomegranates. These brilliant red fruits are loaded with flavonoids and antioxidants. They boost your immune system, protect against inflammation, cancer, and of course, sun damage.
- Dark chocolate, pure unsweetened cocoa and cacao beans have a reputation as a healthy feel-good food. It is true that they help to release endorphins and make you feel good. They may improve blood flow, which is good for your skin as well as the rest of your body. They also contain flavonoids and antioxidants. However, they also contain some potent toxins and anti-nutrients. With regular use, they are highly addictive. If you are suffering from inflammation or hormonal imbalance, they are likely to make your ailments worse.
- Astaxanthin (pronounced as-tuh-zan-thin) is a colourful, fat-soluble pigment found in microalgae, yeast, salmon, trout, krill, shrimp, crayfish, crustaceans, and the feathers of some birds. It is harvested from the sea, and sold in capsules. One of the richest sources of antioxidants available, it gives noticeable protection from the sun after a couple of months of regular use.
Sunscreen - read why I don't use sunscreen
1. Stahl W, Heinrich U, Wiseman S, Eichler O, Sies H, Tronnier H.
Dietary tomato paste protects against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans.
Journal of Nutrition, May 2001. 131(5):1449-1451.