5 Best Foods to Feed Your Melanin

Written By: Girl Tyler

Melanin acts as a natural shield, blocking out harmful UV rays. Although darker pigmentation protects deep layers of the skin from sun damage there’s still a chance of getting sunburned which can lead to melanoma, aka skin cancer. As we enter the summer months, it’s more important than ever to properly nourish your skin. Reach for the sunscreen, Sis.

Beauty is a multi-billion-dollar industry with endless products that promise to erase fine lines and rejuvenate your skin. As quiet as it’s kept, achieving healthy skin is less about what you apply and more about what you consume. Here is a list of five antioxidant-rich foods you need to incorporate in your diet to help preserve your skin.

1. Red Cabbage

Red cabbage is rich in vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that heightens collagen production and protects skin cells from harmful free radicals caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays. A serving of red cabbage contains sulfur which helps produce the protein keratin that provides strength and structure to hair, skin, and nails. One cup of this veggie offers 50.7 mg of vitamin C (the recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 60-95 mg.  

2. Avocado

Many skincare products tout avocado oil as a soothing moisturizer that deeply penetrates the skin to hydrate patchy areas and reduce wrinkles. Avocados are jam packed with essential nutrients including vitamin E, which carries anti-inflammatory properties to rejuvenate your skin and reduce sun damage.  Half an avocado has 2 mg of vitamin E (the RDA is 15 mg). Avocados also carry lutein, which aids in skin elasticity. Taco Tuesday just got tastier. Cheers to more guacamole!

3. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is a vitamin-rich superfood with great overall health benefits. It blocks the breakdown of collagen and it’s known to replace lost moisture in your skin.  Dark chocolate is rich in nourishing antioxidants, vitamins (A, B1, C, D and E) and minerals that relieve dry skin. The flavanols found in dark chocolate also help protect the skin from sunburn. So, go ahead and enjoy that candy bar, just be careful not to overindulge.

4. Kale

Kale can do some heavy lifting when it comes to keeping your skin clear. It’s loaded with anti-inflammatory properties like vitamin K that assist in treating skin conditions. These powerful leafy green also has anti-aging agents like magnesium to help even out your skin tone. Raw kale is filled with copper, an essential mineral in stabilizing skin proteins and revitalizing the synthesis of melanin. Blend it in a shake or give new salad creations and side-dishes a try.

5. Carrots

Carrots are filled with beta-carotene, a provitamin that converts a percentage into vitamin A that supports improved vision and a healthy immune system. Beta-carotene is a plant pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their rich orange and red color.  Researchers also believe vitamin A can lead to increased melanin production. One cup of carrot juice will provide more than 100% of the vitamin A needed for the day. 

 

Originally published in the Reflection & Rejuvenation Edition of the May 2020 mini magazine


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