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Food & Recipes

This Healthy Snack Can Help Ward Off Sunburns and Skin Damage

We all know it’s important to wear sunscreen (even when summer ends!), but there’s another tasty way to avoid sunburns and skin damage: Snacking on almonds! 

A recent study from UCLA observed a group of women with various skin types ranging from “burns easily and rarely tans” to “tans easily and only burns a little.” Participants from each skin type were put into two groups: One that ate about one and a half ounces of almonds every day for 12 weeks and another that ate the same amount of pretzels instead. 

By the end of the study, researchers noticed it took longer periods of UVB exposure for any telltale signs of sunburn to appear in women who ate almonds. Those who ate pretzels showed no such change. Basically, whether they usually burn easily or not, the women who enjoyed almonds regularly became less vulnerable to UV rays turning their skin painful shades of red.

The study authors note that more research needs to be done, but they suspect high levels of certain nutrients found in almonds protect our skin from the inside out. That includes lots of vitamin E, quercetin, mono- and polyunsaturated fats, and phenolic compounds which combine to create antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Of course, this isn’t an excuse to stop wearing sunscreen and simply snack on almonds as your sole defense against the sun. Just think of them as an extra UV-fighting boost. 

The sun protecting perks come on top of other wonderful almond benefits, too. For example, the ample amount of protein in each little nut can help you feel fuller longer to curb overeating and shed a few pounds. Those UV-fighting antioxidants also make them an anti-aging superfood, meaning you’re noshing away fine lines and wrinkles. 

Almonds also happen to be one of the most budget-friendly nut options (Buy at Walmart, $11.68), and also come in lots of yummy varieties, like Blue Diamond’s Wasabi & Soy Sauce (Buy at Walmart, $6.98) or Salt & Vinegar (Buy at Walmart, $6.98). Grab some the next time you’re at the grocery store and snack your way to healthy, sun-protected skin!

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