The hot season of the year is finally upon us! Living in a place where summer is ever so brief, I always endeavor to enjoy the great outdoors as much as possible, before the winter chill returns for another six months – yes, winter is a full six months, sometimes more, where I live.
But with the balmy weather comes the need for more vigilant sun protection efforts. It’s funny – we all know so much about the perils of too much sun exposure, yet most of us fail to protect ourselves, myself included! Sunscreen is, of course, a must, but especially so during this time of year. I also don’t think that because you aren’t particularly beach-y, you are somehow exempt.
80% of sun damage occurs in day-to-day life, whether it be on your transit to work or on a walk in your neighborhood. Sun protection is crucial to us all. But this isn’t to say that sun is bad. In fact, rays from the sun help our bodies produce vitamin D3, which helps with the absorption of calcium. The important thing to remember is to practice “safe” sun!
Some foods that help screen from the sun
In addition to being proactive about sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SFP) of at least 30, there are foods you can ingest that also help protect us from the sun, and even repair damage after, perhaps, too much sun.
Fruits and vegetables that are yellow, orange and red act as natural sunscreen for the skin. Lycopene rich foods, like tomatoes, can actually help protect the skin from sunburn, and beta carotene, which gives orange foods their color, has been shown to help protect cells against sun damage.
So in addition to wearing sunscreen on all exposed areas, eating these summer foods helps you to consume a vast array of antioxidants that help fight oxidative damage.
This juice is one of my favorite summer sippers, and although some herbs don’t juice well (many become turn muddy and dull in the juicer), basil is an excellent juice add-on. Basil manages to stand up to the process and retain its distinct flavor characteristics. It also partners perfectly with cucumber and skin-loving tomatoes. And with tomatoes currently in season, this is a cool and refreshing way to drink your antioxidants!
makes 2 glasses
- 1/2 cucumber
- handful of basil
- 12 oz tomatoes
- ice cubes
Peel and quarter the cucumber and remove seeds. Push through the juicer with the basil, then feed the tomatoes through. Serve over ice.
Don’t have a juicer? Here’s a great little starter whole-fruit and veggie juicer that can make this and many, many more recipes – The Breville Ikon Juicer!