Tuesday Ten: Foods That Fight Sun Damage


In the summertime, there is no better feeling than going to the beach or the pool and feeling the warm sun on your skin. I love getting that sunkissed glow just as much as any girl, but I have had to teach myself to become really diligent with sunscreen over the years. In my high school days, I would bake for hours at a time (cue the regret). Now, you can find me wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat to shade my face with SPF +9826 slathered all over my skin. Even when I think I’ve been extra careful about sun exposure, there have been times where I’ve found myself with rosy cheeks and pink shoulders after being in the sun. With brings me to today’s post…

When sunscreen just doesn’t cut it, there are a few foods that have been proven to help reduce the changes of sunburn. Take a peek below and make sure to stock up the next time you’re at the market…

1. Dark Chocolate
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Believe it or not, dark chocolate actually acts as a shield from the sun. It contains four times as many phenols compounds (help to decrease the risk of developing cancer) and catechins (heart healthy flavonoids) as tea. Both of these are antioxidants that help protect our skin from sunburn and skin cancer, according to Daily Glow, so eat one square of dark chocolate a day.

2. Tomatoes
According to a study from the British Society of Investigative Dermatology, lycopene-rich tomatoes can actually protect your skin against sunburn. Lycopene helps to neutralize the damaging effects of UV light and eating lycopene-rich foods can actually help prevent your skin from aging. Throw a few tomatoes in your salad or use tomatoes paste in my favorite cauliflower crust pizza recipe.

3. Green Tea
I have always loved green tea. Besides its abilities to boost your immune system, clear up your skin, and speed up your metabolism, it also helps to soothe sunburns. Drinking one to two cups of this antioxidant-rich tea a day helps to reduce the redness of sunburn. It even repairs broken capillary veins too. In fact, studies show that it can actually block DNA damage from happening as a result of UV light, according to Daily Glow. Drink up, ladies.

4. Red Peppers
According to Mind Body Green, bell peppers contain an antioxidant called capsiate, which decreases skin damage caused by UVB rays. Peppers also help to reduce inflammation from sun exposure. Whip up some of my stuffed bell peppers to reap these benefits.

5. Garlic
You might remember how I included garlic in my list of foods that help to flatten your belly. Not only does garlic detoxify and reduce bloating, it also can protect the skin from the aging effects of UV radiation, according to Health With Food. Garlic contains a natural compound called allicin, which has strong antioxidant and healing properties. Antioxidants fight off free radicals that enter your body from sun exposure, so eat your garlic.

6. Aloe Vera Juice
It’s a pretty widely known fact that aloe vera gel helps to soothe sunburns and smooth out wrinkles. It’s a kind of a magic concoction for your skin. But aloe vera juice also has it’s own healing properties. According to Every Nutrient, this juice is excellent for healing damaged tissues and skin cells in our bodies. Sun damage doesn’t stand a chance against this healthy drink!

7. Olive Oil
Olive oil is not only great to use for cooking, it’s also an antioxidant-rich food that fights sun damage. One study actually proved that incorporating olive oil regularly into your diet can help to reduce reddening from sun exposure by 35%, according to an article from World’s Healthiest Foods.

8. Pomegranates 
Pomegranate seeds have polyphenols (similar to the phenols I mentioned above), which protect skin from UVA and UVB rays. According to Mind Body Green, they also help your sunscreen to work and inhibit hyperpigmentation.

9. Citrus 
Orange and pink citrus fruits, like oranges and grapefruits, contain large amounts of the skin-cell protective compound called limonene. These fruits also come packed with flavonoids, which improve the skin’s ability to recover from sun damage. Lemon water, anyone?

10. Carrots
These orange veggies have carotenoids (plant pigments that are rich antioxidants), which help to protect against sunburn because of their antioxidant properties, according to Gene Lester, M.S., Ph.D., a plant physiologist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. Give my recipe for roasted carrots a try by clicking here.

It is important to remember that, while you can eat as much of these foods as you want, nothing will help to prevent sun damage more than sunscreen. Eating one square of dark chocolate does not mean you can go to the beach SPF-free. Remember to oil up with tons of sunscreen and wear a hat to shade your face when you’re spending long amounts of time in the sun, ladies.

Which of the foods on this list are a staple in your daily diet?

XO Lauren

Photo: Tuula Vintage
Sources: Daily Glow, Nutra Ingredients, World’s Healthiest Foods, Huffington Post, Daily Mail, Every Nutrient, Health With Food, Mind Body Green
Categories: Dine, Grow, Skincare, Tuesday Ten
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  • suzanne

    Great tips! Sun protection is so important :)
    Suzanne from http://www.writtenbysuzanne.com

  • TStrahlendberg

    Yammi Yammi! I think we should add watermelon to the list as well though. They are simply my favorite food in the summer as it just tastes a thousand times better in the hot sun when you are in need for something fresh, delicious and healthy! :)


  • Carolina Escalante

    I love tomates (im a tomatoes vampire) also, I cannot live without olive oil, I cook everything with it :)

    Xoxo from http://www.klimver.blogspot.co

  • Carolina Escalante

    I love tomates (im a tomatoes vampire) also, I cannot live without olive oil, I cook everything with it :)

    Xoxo from http://www.klimver.blogspot.com

  • HayleyLEK

    Great post – and will needed, given the current heatwave in the UK. Thanks!


  • Ashley

    Lots of red/orange foods here! Interesting post.

  • Stefie

    what about sun strokes? I got one of those during my holiday!


  • Deanne Castro

    Great tips! I will definitely need this during the hot summer!

    Visit my blog to get the latest tips and tricks on fashion and beauty: http://myfashavenue.com/

    Get inspired and follow me on Instagram and Twitter: @MyFashAvenue


  • Ashley at Sincerely Miss Ash

    Great post!! I make sure I have at least 2-3 grapefruits/ oranges a week as it is one of my favorite fruits to eat as well as drinking green tea.

    Working in a Dental Office and having gone to school for Dental, don’t forget to drink water after eating any type of fruit as this will rinse away the acid left behind from fruits. Excessive acid on the teeth will cause erosion of tooth enamel, which leads to cavities.


  • Rachele

    Great, helpful post! I myself do enjoy my beach days thats why I always try to stay sun safe. I love carrots, red peppers and green tea myself these are for sure staples in my diet!

  • Emma Acomb

    Omg! So helpful thanks!

  • Rachel

    Love this! I hate sun damage!


  • Simma Khahera

    Looks like a lot of foods in the red and orange family, which tend to by rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A good for skin damage and repair. Good article :)

  • Raven Locks

    That’s good news for me…I love carrots!

    You know what else works? Krill oil. Krill oil has astaxanthin, which protects you from the sun’s harmful rays. I’ve been taking krill oil for years now and haven’t gotten a sunburn since. I used to burn very easily (even though I have medium dark skin). But like you mentioned…if you’re spending hours in the sun, you still need that good ol’ sunblock!

    BTW, you can also use astaxanthin pills instead of krill. Just make sure you don’t have a fish allergy!

    xo Azu


  • Ana Sofia

    I don’t know that exist food that help us to reduce the chances of sunburn…this will be very helpful :)


  • debora f

    lots of fruits and vegetables are a must of the summer! however, the tomato is a great ally for our skin in the sun!

  • Dana Ivy

    Thanks for giving me a great excuse to eat chocolate!

    Dana Ivy
    http://www.iadorewhatilove.com – Check out my blog!

  • Taanjaa

    I have never thought about food fighting sun damage, thanks for the tips!


  • Ashly

    Love this post!

  • Sana kay

    Love aloe vera juice, so delicious!


    i never thought red peppers can help to fight sun damage.

  • Dr. Floras

    This sounds great… discovered mostly all crucial information. Post here seems simply interesting and insightful. Thanks for sharing this knowledgeable content. I’ll surely come back.

  • kalamityray

    I’m jumping all over this! I got a nice, painful burn this weekend from my time on the lake, and dark chocolate sounds just like what I need to pick me up! Thanks for the great tips! http://www.makeyourhairgrowfaster.net

  • Kate Noto

    I love number three

  • Bunny Golightly

    I’ve actually seen a documentary by the BBC about the sun protecting capabilities of tomatoes, I can definitely recommend watching it. It’s actually enough to eat a teaspoon of tomato puree every day to get the benefits.

    Check out my latest blog post for a quick sun protection 101 and a few of my favorite summer time beauty products for face, body and hair.


  • Nicole Smith

    Awesome! I have everything that I need then!

  • Mediamovers

    Those are really informative tips. Thank you for sharing such an insightful stuff. Keep blogging, It’s a great experience to spend time to read and learning many new topics from your blog. Excessive work! I’ll wait to see such post further.
    More Detail: http://mediamovers.com.au/

  • LaserCap

    Wow…. Interesting insights on your blog. I have found something useful on your site. Thanks for the knowledge and ideas shared with us, definitely bookmarking this one.


  • Paul Herman

    My wife wants me to start eating more foods, like citrus fruits, pomegranates, and carrots after I got a severe sun burn. It didn’t make sense to me until I came across this article. I didn’t realize that antioxidant-rich foods could help fight sun damage.



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