How to tan with the right foods

Summer is coming and with it the desire to go to the beach, get tanned and have a dark complexion to envy. The physiological process that allows the skin to tan is simple and sees the melanin. A dark pigment which is stimulated by solar radiation and which has the purpose of protecting the skin and therefore cells and tissues from damage caused by the sun. The tan turns out to be only a secondary effect, but what an effect! If you want to improve your own defense against UV rays and you want to show off a brown complexion without the risk of burns and rashes, all you have to do is follow a few small dietary tips. Include the right foods in your dietas early as April or May, will make the more resistant and responsive skin.

What to eat to promote a tan?

Carrots, tomatoes, strawberries, melons, peppers, tomatoes, apricots and cherries, are the most famous foods to promote the tanning process. But what unites all these foods? Known as the main constituent of colorful fruits and vegetables, the beta-caratone is nothing but a natural precursor of vitamin A. Its intake through food can be essential for the synthesis of collagen that makes up skin and hair, but also for the production of melanin essential for tanning.

To confirm the stimulating property of these vegetable foods is also the Coldirettiwhich has drawn up a ranking with “The top ten foods for tanning”: (The classification is expressed in micrograms of Vitamin A or in equivalent quantities of carotenes per 100 grams of edible portion)

  1. Carrots: 1200
  2. Radicchio: 500-600
  3. Apricots: 350-500
  4. Chicory and lettuce: 220-260
  5. Melons: 200
  6. Celery: 200
  7. Peppers: 100-150
  8. Tomatoes: 50-100
  9. Peaches: 100
  10. Watermelons, strawberries and cherries: 10-40

Read also the article in the magazine “Eating in yellow: delighting the eyes and more”.

On the podium of foods richest in vitamin A (or beta-carotene equivalents) are carrots, radicchio and apricots. Three foods with bright colors and therefore rich in flavonoids and other molecules with an antioxidant action. In fact, it should be remembered that the richness of these vegetable foods lies not only in their ability to promote the endogenous synthesis of melanin, but also in their ability to repel oxidative damage from free radicals and promote the well-being of cells and tissues. Also, plant products are rich in water and mineral saltsessential for restoring the hydro-saline balance upset by the heat and summer sweats.

Lycopene: an antioxidant against aging from UV rays

There has been a lot of talk about beta-carotene and vitamin A, but another key player in the health and defense of the skin is certainly the lycopene. For a healthy and risk-free tan, you must also choose all the foods of Red, because they are extremely rich in lycopene. It is a molecule with activity antioxidant which prevents skin aging (photo-aging) and protects it from UV rays, allowing safer exposures and helping the skin to prevent rashes and burns. Foods such as are introduced into the diet tomatoes, watermelon, strawberries and peppers. But be careful, since the lycopene present in tomatoes, unlike all other plant foods, in order to be activated and made more bioavailable, it needs cooking.

When you eat raw tomatoes you obviously already find good quantities of lycopene, but with cooking the lycopene will be 4/5 times more available for intestinal absorption. This happens because cooking the tomato can increase the bioavailability of the molecule, thanks to the dissociation from the protein complexes in which it is incorporated or due to the dispersion of the crystalline carotenoid aggregates, which would slow down its intestinal absorption from raw.

Smoothie, extract and smoothie

The principles for a healthy and correct diet include the consumption of 5 servings a day, including fruit and vegetables. But it is known that when summer and the heat arrive, the desire to eat is reduced to a minimum and for this reason a valid solution to meet these requirements can be the intake of juices, smoothies or other semi-liquid preparations. These fresh drinks can be combined with fruit and vegetables, but also water, ice or milk. Why not choose too vegetable derived milk, such as oat milk or rice milk or coconut milk. In this way it will be possible to keep the fat levels under control, which in cow’s milk can be slightly higher.

Lots of water to hydrate the skin and keep it healthy

In addition to including the right foods in your diet, to prepare your skin for exposure to the sun you need to keep it well hydrated and elastic. A hydrated and non-dry skin will tan faster and much more evenly. Furthermore, problems such as post-sun exposure skin dryness, burns and rashes will be avoided or reduced to a minimum. To achieve the hydration goal, all the summer fruit and vegetables can help a bit, rich in water and mineral salts, important to replenish because they are lost in large quantities with sweat.

Must drink at least 2 liters of water per day. If you are having difficulty, you can supplement by adding water to your day’s diet as well cold tea, herbal teas and waters flavored with fruit and vegetable extracts, which make fluid intake more palatable. Obviously, it is not recommended to add sugar or honey, which would increase the calorie intake.

To receive a balanced and varied food plan, which takes these food choices into account and at the same time preserves the health of the body, it is always good to contact a dietician or nutritionist.


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