EXCLUSIVE: Daily almond intake could increase the skin’s resistance to UVB light; Here's how

Updated on Sep 22, 2021 11:24 AM IST  |  123.1K
   
EXCLUSIVE: Daily almond intake could increase the skin’s resistance to UVB light; Here's how
EXCLUSIVE: Daily almond intake could increase the skin’s resistance to UVB light; Here's how
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While this is an inevitable part of daily Indian life, sometimes sunburn is the direct implication due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays (UVB). That is because UVB rays have slightly more energy than UVA rays and have the potential to damage the DNA in skin cells directly. About 5 per cent of the UV rays that reach the ground are UVB rays and diametrical contact of the same causes damage to the outermost layers of the skin, also known as sunburn. Besides sunburn, these rays can additionally activate free radicals in the skin causing accelerated premature ageing of the skin and over time may also lead to skin cancer.

Contrary to popular belief, liberally smothering yourself in sunblock throughout the day to avoid sunburn is not the best solution. While there are multiple ways to improve skin’s UVB resistance, what you consume on a daily basis as a part of your diet has a huge impact on the skin’s ability to handle the sun. Indeed, several intrinsic and extrinsic factors affect the skin in more ways than one, however, skin susceptibility to photoaging also depends on constitutive pigmentation and skin colour type. A common cause for hyperpigmentation and photoaging is exposure to UV light such as UVA (320-400 nm) and UVB (290-320 nm). Overexposure of the skin to UVA or UVB generates oxidative stress, which leads to inflammation and erythema of the skin. Eating certain fruits, vegetables and nuts like almonds can give your body the raw materials to build its own sun protection, from the inside out.  

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Healthy dietary and snacking choices are at the root of what might influence the body’s innate and elemental way of protecting the skin against damage from sun exposure – known as photodamage. While avoiding prolonged sun exposure, wearing protective clothing and using topical sunscreen are key strategies to protect the skin against photodamage, many researchers suggest that one’s diet may play a supporting role. Known as a good source of alpha-tocopherol, almonds and food made from raw almonds are one of the best natural sources of skin-loving antioxidants – vitamin E which helps to protect and repair the skin from sunlight and UV damage. Additionally, almonds also contain healthy fats, and these two combined has been shown to impart anti-ageing properties that may benefit skin health.

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In fact, a promising study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology provides the first clinical evidence that consuming almonds may help support the skin’s resistance to UVB light. According to the study, daily consumption of 42 grams of raw almonds improves UVB resistance but it is essential to combine topical skincare with a healthy diet rich in antioxidant compounds to protect against outdoor stressor-induced skin damage. Incorporating the habit of adding a handful (1.5 ounces) of almonds into your diet along with fruits and vegetables help boost your skin’s resistance to UV rays naturally. This in combination with non-toxic sun cream, protective clothing and avoiding peak sun hours when possible is make for the best line of defence. Practising this on a regular basis should be able to help you boost the protection of your skin from the sun. Studies have also demonstrated that topical application of almond oil and almond skin extract reduces UVB-induced photoaging.

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While most Indian women follow the existing recommendation to protect their skin from being exposed to UVB, they must take cognizance of the benefits of incorporating a healthy diet and daily consumption of almonds in their dietary routine in this regard. This, in all likelihood, help support and protect the skin from the inside. Women across India should increase their almond intake and be sure to eat a handful every day to achieve healthier skin.

dr-geetika-mittal_gupta

About the author: Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, Medical Doctor and Cosmetologist

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