During summer, you hopefully adhere to the mandate of slipping on a shirt, slopping on the sunscreen and slapping on a hat to help protect yourself against sunburn. But, did you know that in addition to using good quality sunscreen, a tasty edible treat can help battle harmful ultraviolet rays? Most of us associate watermelon with the summer months because it’s bright, juicy and fresh, making it the perfect food for warmer weather.
As its name suggests, watermelon is approximately 92% water, but it also contains vitamins A and C and potassium. Additionally, watermelon is rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant commonly found in red-coloured fruits and which can help act as a natural sunscreen. Lycopene helps to protect skin cells from harmful rays which can lead to skin cancer. It replenishes these cells and helps your skin act as a natural filter while allowing enough sunlight through for vitamin D production. Lycopene can help prevent wrinkles, strengthening the elasticity of skin tissues.
When eating watermelon, try to serve it with some oil such as salad dressing or olive oil because this increases lycopene absorption. Other good sources of lycopene include cooked tomato products like tomato juice and canned tomato sauce, guava and ruby red grapefruit.