Melanin is a pigment found in our skin, the iris of our eyes and our hair, and it is melanin which determines our skin color. It is also found in smaller quantities in the inner ear and brain. Melanin is responsible for absorbing UVA and UVB rays to protect us from their harmful effects. When it absorbs them, the production of this pigment increases turning our skin darker,therefore producing a tan. To protect our skin and hair from sunlight, you can eat foods that support its production to get and get a more natural tan. Keep reading this OneHowTo article and discover which foods boost melanin production.
Foods that increase melanin: carrot
Foods rich in vitamin A encourage melanin production as well as maintaining its levels and making our tans last longer, and the carrot is one of the largest sources. This product is composed mainly of beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A that is actively involved in the stimulation of melanin and consequent tanning of the skin. Also, among its multiple benefits, besides the proper maintenance of the cells lining our skin, we found that this is a natural product that promotes the formation of retinal pigment.
Foods that increase melanin: tomato
The line of foods rich in beta-carotene, also includes tomatoes as another major natural source. By having a similar composition to carrots, their effect on our skin and eyes are the same. Besides these two foods, apricot, watermelon, strawberries and blueberries also favor increased levels of melanin in our body.
Foods that increase melanin: melons
Although vitamin A promotes stimulation of melanin production, it is not unique since Vitamin E also supports this function. In this regard, melon is a fruit that has a high content of both vitamins, making it an ideal source for increasing levels of this pigment and promoting tanning, among other advantages. Also, it is a food with high antioxidant properties, thus preventing the premature aging of cells.
Foods that increase melanin: egg yolk
The yolk is another natural product with a higher rate of vitamin E, which we could not miss off our list of foods that increase melanin. Although most of the vitamin E is concentrated in the yolk, the egg white also contains it and other vitamins such as vitamin B complex. Take a look at all the beauty uses of egg for more.
Foods that increase melanin: Dairy
Dairy products are also a great source of vitamin A that are ideal for increasing levels of melanin. Furthermore, they are composed of essential amino acids tyrosine and cystine, which are fundamental to the production of this pigment in our body. Although dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese are the main foods rich in these amino acids, they are not the only ones as tyrosine is also found in rice and corn.
Foods that increase melanin: Fish
Finally, the importance of vitamin D should be noted when it comes to protecting our skin from the harmful effects of sunlight. In this sense, oily fish such as salmon contain a very high percentage of this vitamin and thus help both melanin production and the general protection of our skin. However, due to its high content of fats you should not eat it every day. It is best to have it twice a week, and no more. Canned tuna is also a great natural source of vitamin E.
Other ways to increase melanin
On the market there are many cosmetic products that promote increased levels of melanin in the body in order to improve skin tanning and maintain hair color. However, the use of natural products such as food are always more desirable than synthetic products. No doubt the fastest and most effective way to increase melanin and make it darker is exposure to the sun, yet we must do it safely because if we do not take care of our skin and hair, the damages may outweigh the benefits. Take a look at what happens when melanin decreases for more information and learn about melanin inhibitors to make sure you are not having an increased intake of these.
Finally, include supplements of the vitamins mentioned above, tyrosine and gingko. However, you should consult your doctor before taking any of them to let you know whether or not you can take them and how many doses. You'll find a complete list of the best supplements for tanning in this article.
Plus, if you'd like to know more details, check out our article How to increase melanin production in your body.
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