Eat Your SPF!

Eat Your SPF!

Written By: Kristi Caruana

Did you know that the key to shielding your skin from harmful UV damage might be in your diet? Emerging studies suggest that certain foods rich in polyphenols, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds can provide internal protection against the sun's rays!

Sunscreen is a multi-billion dollar industry and it’s role as being the sole protective factor against sunburn is often taken as fact, however there are more studies on the controversial toxins found in sunscreen than on the efficacy of sunscreen use in healthy individuals.

Only four pharmaceutical giants stand behind the majority of generic sunscreen products on the market. Companies like Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Playtex, and Clorox have stakes in these products, shaping what you apply on your skin. Many mainstream sunscreen products contain chemicals like benzene, octosalate, homosalate, avobenzone, titanium dioxide, octinoxate, and oxybenzone, all of which have been studied for toxicity concerns. These ingredients can be absorbed by the skin and circulate in the body, being attributed to a host of serious health issues.

A 2020 study indicated that certain sunscreen chemicals are absorbed after just one application and can persist in the body for up to three weeks. This raises serious concerns about the long-term effects of these products for our health!

What if we told you that you can “Eat Your SPF”? That’s right! There are many foods that contain natural sun protective factors which help build your resistance to harmful UV rays from the inside out! Think about incorporating a diverse range of foods: from vibrant berries, hydrating melons, and citrus-packed fruits to green tea, pure cacao, and omega-3 rich fatty fish. These nutrient powerhouses help lend an invisible shield to boost your skin health!


Berries like strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are bursting with antioxidants, particularly vitamin C— This essential nutrient not only supports collagen production for skin elasticity but also helps neutralize free radicals caused by UV exposure, reducing potential sun-induced skin damage!


With their high water content and rich source of beta-carotene, these fruits work to keep your skin hydrated while providing an extra layer of defense. Beta-carotene converts to vitamin A, known for its ability to promote healthy skin cell turnover and enhance the skin's natural defense mechanisms!

Citrus Fruits:

Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are brimming with vitamin C. This powerful antioxidant helps safeguard your skin against oxidative stress caused by UV rays, reducing the risk of premature aging and skin damage.


Rich in papain, an enzyme with potent anti-inflammatory properties that soothes inflammation, helps the skin recover from sun exposure and potentially minimizes the appearance of sunburn!

Green Tea:

Green tea is renowned for its polyphenols, particularly catechins like epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)— These compounds help protect the skin from UV-induced damage and supporting overall skin health!

Fatty Fish:

Fatty wild-caught fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines are loaded with nourishing omega-3 fatty acids! These healthy fats help maintain the skin's lipid barrier, enhancing moisture retention and reducing inflammation, which is a result of sun overexposure.

Grass-Fed Meats:

Quality grass-fed meats offer a rich source of zinc— A mineral which plays a crucial role in the skin's repair processes and assists in maintaining the skin's integrity when exposed to UV rays!

PURE Cacao (NOT Chocolate!):

The flavonoids in pure cacao harness antioxidant properties that naturally support the skin's defense against oxidative stress— These compounds contribute to improved blood flow, aiding in the transportation of nutrients to skin cells and increasing cell regeneration!

Fermented Foods:

These naturally probiotic-rich foods support gut health, which plays a crucial role in skin wellness! A healthy gut means a balanced microbiome, contributing to improved digestion and reduced inflammation. By nurturing your gut, you're fortifying your skin's defense mechanisms against the sun's harmful rays!

Raw Dairy:

Including yogurt and kefir offers a double benefit for your skin! Not only are these products nutrient-rich, but they also contain live probiotics that can help enhance skin's barrier function. Natural dairy probiotics bolster the skin's ability to protect itself against environmental stressors, including UV radiation. The combination of essential nutrients and friendly bacteria found in raw dairy helps to boost radiant and resilient skin!

Remember that your skin's protection goes beyond the surface! Beyond the buzz of conventional sunscreen lies a variety of foods that serve as powerful allies of the sun!



Additional Sources:,lower%20UVB%2Dcaused%20skin%20sunburn.

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