Sunscreen on a Plate: Protect Your Skin with Diet

We all know the American diet is going down the tubes fast. In the media and medical community, the “standard American diet” is abbreviated as “SAD,” and it is actually quite sad. In fact, most of the western world is falling into our eating pattern. It’s well known that poor diet leads to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and obesity. Less well known, is that The SAD diet predisposes many people to certain cancers and that a few tweaks here and there can do more than shed inches off our waistlines! The verdict is in, and new studies show that certain dietary choices can reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as the deadly skin cancer, melanoma.

Skin Cancer Hotspots

Do just a little research and you will see there is less skin cancer in Asia and the Mediterranean. Many people simply attribute this to skin tone and genetics. If you think along those lines, then you won’t be surprised to learn that skin cancer is more prevalent in places like Australia and the United States. New findings suggest these correlations have less to do with skin tone and more to do with how and what the people in these regions eat.


So how can you fight skin cancer with food? Well according to notable sources, a few changes can make a big difference in how your skin responds to excess sun exposure. Lycopene is a supplement you can find at almost any drugstore. Studies show that taking a lycopene supplement can reduce damage to your skin from the sun. This nutrient is what makes tomatoes red. You can get the same benefits by eating fruits and vegetables high in lycopene, like tomatoes, ketchup or watermelon. Olive oil is another excellent natural sunblock, when ingested of course, not applied to the skin!


This nutrient is in almost any orange or yellow vegetable and makes an excellent UV fighter. Eating more carrots, squash and similar foods can boost your skin’s protection.


By protecting our skins elasticity and reducing damage from sun exposure, Lutein helps us fight the aging effects of the sun. You can find it in dark green vegetables like kale, spinach, broccoli, zucchini and Brussels sprouts.

Flavonoids and Polyphenols

Remember all the things we see in the media about green tea and weight loss? Well, those same compounds help stop and slow down cell mutation. They are called EGCGs. Green tea also contains polyphenols, which among their many health benefits, also fight against UV-radiation-caused cancers. Other good sources of these protecting nutrients include citrus peel, cocoa, rosemary, oregano and garlic.

Other Vitamins

Many other nutrients have shown some benefit in protecting the skin. Only the B Vitamins seem to lack this protection.

So what does this mean for us Westerners? It means that sunscreen doesn’t have to come in a bottle. Eating healthier, taking a multi vitamin, and just plain taking care of ourselves does more then make us look fit and trim. Transforming our diets from SAD to something we can be proud to call the American standard can protect our bodies and boost our pride.


Find more reliable diet information, based on research and studies, at

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