The summer is finally here and the sun is shining. However, with the good weather comes the risk of sunburn.

While suntan lotion can help to protect the skin, it is also beneficial to build up a natural resistance.

This may sound difficult but there are foods you can eat that offer protection against the sun and promote healthy living at the same time.

Fruit and vegetables

There are certain fruit and vegetables that can help to build a barrier against UV and reduce the irritation that the sun can cause.

Strawberries are one fruit that has been found to protect against ultraviolet radiation and skin damage in a recent study.

Research leader Maurizio Battino stated: "We have verified the protecting effect of strawberry extract against damage to skin cells caused by UVA rays".

It is believed this is caused by anthocyanins, which are pigments that give flowers and fruits their red colour.

Other fruit and vegetables that are thought to protect against the sun are tomatoes, broccoli, kale and cauliflower.

Containing the pigments lycopene and carotenoids, tomatoes offer protective benefits against sun-induced skin irritations and reactions to sunburn. These pigments are also found in other red and orange fruit and vegetables.

Broccoli, kale and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables, which are packed with antioxidants that are believed to prevent sunburn.

Fish rich in Omega-3

Omega-3 fatty acids are important anti-inflammatory agents and can protect against free radical damage from the sun. They are found in lots of foods, but shellfish and fatty fish are the best for ensuring you maximise your intake.

Indulge in dark chocolate

Although not good for you in copious amounts, dark chocolate contains flavanoids, which keep the skin hydrated, increase oxygen intake and blood flow. They also play a protective role against the sun.

Put the kettle on

Green and black teas are suspected of possessing UV protective properties, as they contain polyphenols, which are believed to be key in the fight against skin cancer.

Posted by Matilda Jones