10 Foods That Offer Sun Protection

Food for Sun Protection, Sun Protecting Foods, Foods That Will Protect You From The Sun

A major factor of skincare is diet and what we put into our bodies is just as important as what we put onto it. The food we eat can contribute to the body’s ability to produce collagen and elastin which contribute to the hydration levels of our skin and can also work to inhibit enzymes that cause wrinkles and aging.  Choosing the right foods is the difference between clear, luminous and firm skin or wrinkled, loose and sagging skin.

There are certain foods that also work to enhance the skin’s natural sun protection factor by boosting it’s ability to defend against the damage caused by UV exposure. Of course you should never forgo applying a broad spectrum sunscreen but it doesn't hurt to build up your sun protection from the inside out. Here are 10 foods that you can have that will help to reduce your risk for sunburn, sun damage, and skin cancer.

Wild Salmon
Wild Salmon is packed with omega 3 fats that reduce inflammation and protect your skin from sunburn and melanoma. Studies have shown that omega 3's can inhibit the release of UVB inflammation by up to 52 percent while also protecting cells from free radical damage. Other foods that contain omega 3 fatty acids include sardines, herring, mackerel, algae/seaweed, green leafy vegetables, flax, hemp and chia seeds.

Heirloom Tomatoes
Heirloom Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce UV-induced free radicals by 40 to 50 percent. Heirloom tomatoes have more lycopene than conventional tomatoes.

Watermelon is another terrific source for lycopene. It actually contains 40% more lycopene than tomatoes! Other foods that contain lycopene include papaya, pink guava, red bell peppers and pink grapefruit.

Cruciferous Vegetables
Cruciferous Vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower and kale are packed with an antioxidant called sulforaphant that helps skin protect itself against UV radiation. These vegetables also fight and reverse free radical damage.

Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, lettuce and Swiss chard, are excellent sources of carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin which studies have shown to reduce risk of squamous cell skin cancer by 50 percent.

Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C which ward off free radicals to block the development of cancer cells. Vitamin C also promotes collagen growth, which provides strength and structure to the skin and prevents premature aging. Kiwi known as the king of fruits has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C.

Carrots are one of the best dietary sources of beta-carotene which helps protect the skin against the free radical damage caused from sun exposure. The antioxidants in carrots also help to repair skin cells.

Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranates seeds have polyphenol compounds such as catechins and anthocyanins which can strengthen the skin`s upper layers increasing it's resistance to both UVA and UVB free radicals. They can also enhance the sun protection factor of sunscreen by up to 25% and also inhibit hyperpigmentation.

Green Tea
Green tea have polyphenols with disease-preventing properties that protect against sunburn inflammation, tannic acid that helps calm sunburn pain and EGCGs which prevent damage from UV exposure.

Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate contains flavanoids which may improve the skin’s ability protect against some types of skin damage, including UV damage. Flavonoids can also help improve skin hydration, increase oxygen saturation, and boost blood flow.

While we're on the topic of sun protection, here are 21 Sun Safety Facts you should know.

Photos: 1 // 2 // 3 // 4 // 5 // 6 // 7 // 8 // 9 // 10 // 11


  1. I eat all of that no wonder I do not get as red in the sun thanks for the information.

  2. Thanks for sharing this with us! I actually love 5 from the list (and am just okay with other 5 ;p) so I will start from there! (Those gorgeous carrots reminded me of a dish that I had at ABC V - have you tried this restaurant? I usually think vegetarian places are BS but loved everything here.)

    Have a good rest of the week! :)

  3. Such an interesting posto! Now I know how to protect myself even more!
    Thanks for sharing

    Maggie D.
    IndianSavageBlog by Maggie Dallospedale

  4. Definitely some great tips there, dear! xoxo

  5. This post has some really great tips for all of us! Thanks for sharing dear <3

  6. I only knew about carrots being useful when it comes to protection against the sun. This is some very useful information. I love wild salmon, watermelon, heirloom tomatoes....and pretty much all of the food types listed here so I'll try to include as much as possible of these goodies into my diet.

  7. I had no idea about watermelon and reading this made me so happy because it's one of my favourite fruits ever!

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  8. This is such an interesting post! I had no idea these foods provide sun protection! Thanks for sharing!


  9. Great post dear!


  10. It looks so delicious. :) thanks for sharing xx

  11. Thank you so much for your helpful tips!

  12. Hooray for another good reason to eat dark chocolate!

  13. A major factor in my skin care is water! I don’t eat a lot of fried foods, I don’t eat meat or foods high in calories, its lots of fruit and veggies for me, but when I don’t drink enough water my skin looks haggard. No one seems to notice but me which is a little annoying. Thank you for sharing this list! Its very helpful

  14. That is great! I love dark chocolate and now I am going to eat it more. Thanks for sharing such an informative post.
    Nice post friend! Kisses.

  15. I'm so glad I enjoy and eat these foods already. It's time to break out more pomegranate seeds!

  16. I always knew eating healthy is a key factor to better skin, but I didn't know certain foods offered sun protection, so thank you for sharing this list!! Also had no idea that watermelon had more lycopene than tomatoes, which is great news because I love watermelons! :D

    Jenny | Geeky Posh

  17. Love this! I'm gonna go work on my sun protection now...

  18. Oh wow, is it tragic that I had absolutely no idea some foods provided sun protection!? Needless to say, I'm thrilled to hear dark chocolate is included in your list...

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  19. Wow I never thought about what I eat helping with sun protection. But it makes sense. Thanks for the round up!

    Allie of

  20. Rowena, I did not know this! Totally saving this post! I eat cabbages, salmon, watermelon. I need to add more of these to my diet. I learned something new! Great post.


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