10 Sun Protection Food You Should Include in Your Diet

Did you know that a very effective way of protecting your skin against the damaging effects of sun exposure is having a complete and balanced diet? That's right, eating the right amount of sun protection food is 10 times more effective and healthier than slathering your skin in tons of sunscreen, which are really bad for the skin and the planet, BTW. So, next time you are taking a stroll or heading to the beach don't forget to have a previous meal with some of these 10 sun protection food you should include in your diet if you want to protect your skin more sustainably.

Providing our body with the right amount and type of food nutrients is generally overlooked as a natural response to changing external condition, like weather. You may have noticed that our body's requirements are different in summer or winter, and that depends a lot on the natural conditions of our particular contexts.

So... sun protection food is food you can easily get for naturally protecting your skin against the harmful effects of UVB and UVA radiation.

If you want to know more about how to protect your skin, please check: Sun and Skin Protection: How To Healthily Enjoy Sun Exposure

person eating watermelon by the sea
Sun protection food - Pexels

How is sun protection food relevant to prevent and heal skin damage?

Well, it turns out - according to studies- that we have a sort of personal "skin clock". How so? There is a particular enzyme, scientist say, that greatly contributes to repair UV skin damage, but the thing with this enzyme is that it has a precise daily cycle of production in our bodies. As you may have guessed, this natural cycle can be altered by what and when we eat certain food.

If you have a relatively normal eating schedule, you are probably more protected from UB rays during daylight than a person with a more abnormal schedule. Why? Because if you skip meals or have too many night snacks, for example, you are altering the natural cycles and overall good functioning of your body. Well, the same goes for the cycle of production of this natural protective enzyme.

Now, there are many options to reverse this situation -in case your timetable is a mess- or make it even more beneficial - in case you are already growing conscious of the importance of a balanced diet. We can literally upgrade and improve the cycles in our body by taking correct nutrients in every intake at the right time.

Food for Sun Protection

These are specially targeted skin-loving foods that you can easily include with your daily meals.

1. Green tea

Scientific research suggests that a regular amount of green tea given to mice in labs on regular basis led to fewer tumors induced into them by UV light in mice. So, a regular intake of green is a very nice way to start your sun protection food consumption and start giving your body the necessary nutrients to work properly.

Green tea (and clack tea as well) contain flavanol, that green tea consumption led to fewer tumors induced by UV light in mice. This was due to a flavanol, a natural chemical that contributes to protect the skin from skin damage by UV rays.

Another great benefits of green tea for the skin are for instance significantly reducing physical skin damage form UV rays while it pumps up your collagen levels, which is key to a healthy skin.

Tip: cooled green tea with ice, mint leaves, and your favorite citrus fruits is the best for summer days!

2. Watermelon

The key to including watermelon as part of your sun protection food plan is an antidioxant called lycopene. Watermelon is rich in lycopen 8 even more than tomatoes, which is another great food for sun protection, BTW) Lycopene works this way: it absorbs both UVA and UVB radiation. Of course, this shield will take a couple of weeks to built itself but if you make it a habit, that shouldn't be a problem.

In time lycopene can eventually act as a natural sunblock, and one of the most outstanding benefits, research data suggests, is that lycopene is an excellent natural anti- aging agent.

Tip: You can add a fruity twist to a regular barbacoa sauce and impress everyone next time your serving chips!

3. Blueberries

Blueberries, another delicious sun protection food that is abundant during summer, precisely where it can help our skin the most! Nature is wise, isn't it?

Blueberries as well are rich in powerful antioxidants that can help fight off free radicals. Free radical appear mainly because unprotected sun exposure or too much stress and the can provoke extreme skin damage.

Thanks yummy blueberries for coming to the rescue! The wild variety of blueberries is even more powerful and rich in antioxidants. Check your local organic markets, you may be lucky. are even more powerful if they’re a wild variety. One more thing about berries, they are a great source of vitamin C, which can repair skin immediately and prevent wrinkles.

Tips: Blueberries are great for a quick breakfast: meal prep some pancakes made with layers of blueberry chia jam, coconut yogurt, and granola.Supper yummy and healthy!

4. Nuts and seeds

Walnuts, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and flax are all rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids. ANothe food for skin protection that are also rich in Omega-3 are fish and eggs. Our body cannot naturally produce this essential oil, so it's very important that we get the right amounts from our diets.

Omega 3 will help you recover the natural hydration f your skin naturally after some sun exposure. It can also help in keeping your skin’s integrity and it's a natural anti-inflammatory, too.

Tip: A quick snack of trail mix never goes out of style. Start trying new combinations!

5. Cauliflower

When it comes to veggies and fruits, a general health rule to live and shop by is to gravitate toward more vibrantly colored eats. This is because they’re likely to have more antioxidants.

We are usually said that when buying veggies we should gravitate towards those with most vibrant colors. But don’t let cauliflower’s pale appearance fool you. Cauliflower contains powerful antioxidants that help fight off oxidative stress produced by free radicals.

On top of this, cauliflower is one of the best foods for sun protection and that's because it also contains a naturally sun-protective agent called histidine. This alpha-amino acid can for a resistant barrier by absorbing UV radiation.

Tip: Cauliflower with creamy chili-lime sauce is the best thing in the world1

6. Carrots and leafy greens

Carrots and leafy greens are known for being rich in beta carotene that our bodies later on turn into vitamin A, which is, in turn, vital for having a healthy skin. Some scientific data shows that after 10 weeks of regularly taking beta carotene, your vitamin A levels increase.

Leafy greens, particularly, are also high in the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can help you protect against wrinkling, sun damage, and even skin cancer.

Leafy greens and carrots are indeed powerful sun protection food, and fortunately summer is always a good time for a fresh salad.

For your salad day, try kale, tossed with carrots and sweet potato to deliver a real beta carotene-packed uplift!

7. Red Wine

Believe ir not, the flavonoids found in red wine (and also grapes) can help the cells fight UV- ray-activated reactive oxygen from forming. Exposing to the sun unprotected is never a good idea because it can accelerate aging. So, one glass of red wine a day, may also keep the doctor away.

Red wine has extraordinary properties that can contribute naturally to protect your skin from skin damage, especially caused by sun exposure. So among veggies and nuts you can also include in your diet the great and tasty sun protection food, better said... drink.

8. Sweet Red Peppers

Bright red peppers is another great food for sun protection. According to scientific studies, beta-carotene—a plant pigment and precursor to vitamin A—provides protection against sunburn. So as well as carrots and leafy greens, sweet red peppers are a stellar source of beta-carotene.

Keep in mind that the supplementation of your diet with any of these options will require a minimum intake of 10 weeks to show results. So, if you want to prevent sunburns during summer, start including right away sweet red peppers as sun protection food.

Tip: Put them on the grill, add some cheese and eggs... they taste delicious.

9. Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the most exquisite and nutritious Mediterranean salad toppers and it also boasts natural sun-blocking benefits. The star here is squalene, a natural chemical compound that possesses antioxidant powers and prevents skin cell death that are the regular result of oxidative stress and sun exposure. Another great sun protection food rich in squalene is rice bran oil

Tip: Both olive oil and rice bran oil it have a great taste. Bran rice oil in particular has a high smoke point, which makes it ideal for outdoor BBQs.

12. Dark Chocolate

First, red wine and now dark high quality chocolate. Isn't it great? If you are not dealing with loss weight, you can definitely this treat as a powerful sun protection food in your diet.

Studies found that the flavanols present in dark chocolate when taken with certain regularity, can provide your skin with significant photoprotection from UV effects.

Unfortunately, conventional chocolate won't do since most of them are full of refined sugars and fats. But surely you can find good dark chocolate bars in your town. Check organic and natural markets, they always work. Try to look for cocoa bars with the highest flavanol content for greater benefits.

These two brands are certified as one of the richest in anti- dioxants: Baker's unsweetened is 100% cocoa baking chocolate and Ghirardelli Twilight Delight has 72 percent cocoa.

So, to wrap this article on foods for sun protection, you should remember that none of this happens either magically or overnight. You should pick on the habit of including them in your diet a couple of weeks before summer season is here.

Keep in mind, also that by no means are these foods for sun protection a substitution for sunscreens. There are many alternatives to regular sunscreens and you can even DIY at home, there are many tutorials online and plenty of sustainable products available nowadays.

Related: Clothing for Sun Protection: How to be Trendy From UV Rays

Gisela Possetto

Copywirter, Cats + Tattoos + Music Lover

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