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Certain foods may help fight sun damage

Certain foods you eat can act as a natural sunscreen for your body. (WKRC photo)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - If you want to protect your skin, you might want to add a few foods to your menu.

You might be surprised what you can do to fight cancer with what you do and what you eat.

Ask just about any plastic surgeon about how much of their business is due to people’s beach time and sun time and they'll tell you it’s a good amount.

“A lot of our business comes from photoaging or sun damage over the years,” said Dr. Jon Mendelsohn.

It's one of the reasons that Dr. Jon Mendelsohn, a facial plastic surgeon, suggests you take steps to protect yourself.

“Wear your sunscreen, wear your hat, and sunglasses, stay hydrated,” said Dr. Jon Mendelsohn.

Even with all that, the sun’s powerful rays can raise skin cancer risk.

There's a couple things to know about sunlight on a cloudy day: You can still have it pass through to your skin, so there's no substitute for sunblock or sunscreen but there are a few things you might be able to do to sort of protect your skin from the inside out.

It's all because a recent summary report in eating well found a few foods in your diet might work to place a natural sunscreen in your body.

For example, a British study found people who ate a quarter cup of tomatoes in sauce for 12 weeks were less susceptible to sunburn.

Tomatoes have carotenoids in the red color, researchers speculate these may be skin friendly compounds.

Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits, berries and bell peppers may also help you eat to fight skin cancer.

About three servings of a food with Vitamin C appears to boost activity needed for skin protection, according to an eating well report.

Finally, several studies have found caffeine may help boost your skin against damage.

A study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found four cups a day might help fight melanoma.

Coffee has polyphenols, which is another natural compound which may hold hidden health benefits.

Now you have to eat these as a regular part of your diet, not just in the sunny season.

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