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As we stroll towards the sunny promise of spring, don’t forget to practice smart sun safety. The sun has numerous benefits for your health and wellness, such as boosting your immune system and enhancing your mood, but too much sun exposure can lead to sunburns and other health risks. The following recipes all contain powerful sun-protective ingredients. Each meal doesn’t just taste good, but it also offers immunity-boosting antioxidants that help keep you healthy and safe all summer long.

BREAKFAST: Very Berry Green Tea Smoothie

Green tea is a rich source of plant-based catechins that have photoprotective effects. In one study, people who took a green tea supplement saw fewer signs of skin damage after sun exposure. 

Instead of popping a green tea pill, go straight to the source with this vitamin-rich green tea smoothie. The caffeine in this breakfast shake will energize your morning while also enhancing your skin’s natural resilience to the sun’s UV rays. Plus, all the berries power up your immune system and provide high levels of antioxidants that help repair your skin from any potential UV damage.

1 cup oat milk (or your favorite unsweetened plant-based milk)

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup frozen mixed berries

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Handful of fresh spinach

3-4 ice cubes

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

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LUNCH: Garlic-Infused Summer Tomato Sandwich

This flavorful, vegetarian-friendly lunch is bursting with the tastes of summer. Not only are tomatoes a great source of vitamin C, but they’re also high in lycopene. Lycopene has been shown to have very potent sun-protective elements. 

Beyond the sun safety aspects of this meal, you will also enjoy the juxtaposition of the hearty, crunchy bread and the juiciness of the ripe tomatoes. It’s a deceptively simple recipe with layers of texture and zesty flavor.

2 slices dense sprouted-grain bread

1 beefsteak tomato, sliced

1 1/2 tsp traditional or plant-based mayo

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 pinch kosher salt 

1 pinch coarsely ground black pepper

Toast your bread. For the best results, opt for a very dense, hearty style of bread.

After the bread is toasted, smear with mayo and sprinkle with a generous amount of garlic, salt and pepper. Layer on a couple of slices of chilled tomato and enjoy while the bread itself is still hot from the toaster. 

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DINNER: Garlic Butter Baked Salmon with Fingerling Potatoes

One study of nearly 3,000 American adults found that those who ate a diet high in healthy omega-3 fats had significantly less photo-aging (the technical term for the signs of aging and cellular damage observed in skin after it has been exposed to the sun).

But before you reach for some fish oil supplements, keep in mind that many fish oil pills have been sitting on shelves for months, if not years. Go fresh with this quick and easy salmon dinner. It pairs well with the included roasted potatoes, or opt for your favorite sides, whether that’s quinoa, brown rice or a leafy-green salad.

1 pound white-and-red baby potatoes

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp kosher salt, divided

2 tsp black pepper, divided

4 skinless salmon fillets

4 tbsp minced garlic, divided

2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley (optional if you don’t like parsley)

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/2 cup melted butter

1/4 cup veggie or chicken broth

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While it’s heating up, cut the baby potatoes into halves and toss with olive oil and half of the garlic, salt and pepper. Spread the potatoes evenly on a baking sheet and back for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through.

Remove the pan from the oven and push all of the potatoes to one side of your baking sheet. Place the salmon on the same pan and season with the parsley and the rest of the garlic. 

Return the baking sheet back to the pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the salmon is cooked.

Prepare the garlic butter by combining the butter, lemon juice, broth and the rest of the garlic. 

Serve the salmon with a side of potatoes and drizzle it with garlic butter. Enjoy!

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Hungry For More? Keep Reading:

Summer Meal Recipes for Healthy Fun in the Sun

 

A Healthy Breakfast for Your Immune System