woman sunbathing on sun lounger looking at the sea wearing natural sun protection

Top Foods to Eat for Natural Sun Protection

June 20, 2021

Summer is the time of year we really need to up our skin protection. The sun is very powerful and over exposure to its harmful UV rays can be very damaging to the skin. This can result in premature aging and skin cancers. So it's incredibly important to protect it with an SPF. But did you know certain foods can also help with natural sun protection? Here are the top foods to eat for natural sun protection - make sure to add them to your shopping basket!

Foods and Natural Sun Protection

What we eat plays a vital role in the formation, health and protection of our skin too. Foods that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatories like carotenoid and vitamins help to fight free radicals. These free radicals are stimulated by sun exposure and can build up in the body causing premature ageing and numerous other health problems. Here are some of the best foods to eat for natural sun protection.

What are the Best Foods to Eat for Natural Sun Protection?

Fond of spirulina? Love oily fish like salmon? The good news is these are just two of the top foods to eat for natural sun protection. We talk you through more of the best vitamins, minerals and foods you should add to your diet for natural sun protection below. 

Carotenoids such as Lycopene and Beta Carotene

Carotenoids are a group of pigments found in many fruits and vegetables. These richly coloured molecules are the sources of the yellow, orange, and red colours of many plants. Carotenoids help to protect plants against excess sunlight. They can also help to protect human skin against the harmful effects of UV light.

Lycopene is found in high amounts in tomatoes and has been shown to provide the skin with some sun protection after 10 to 12 weeks of regular intake. Beta carotene can be found in carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes and in many more colourful fruits and vegetables and can also be found in supplement form.


Micro-algae like chlorella and spirulina contain a carotenoid called Astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is more powerful than Vitamin E. It has been shown to protect the skin and eyes against ultraviolet radiation.


A high intake of EPA (a type of Omega 3), the essential fatty acid has also been found to increase the skin’s tolerance to UV radiation. Salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, algae/seaweed, green leafy vegetables, flax, hemp and chia seeds are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.

Vitamin C

Another one of the top foods to eat for natural sun protection is anything containing vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to prevent premature aging by warding off free radicals. The best natural sources of vitamin C are acerola cherry, rose hip, berries, guava, kiwi, papaya and all citrus fruits.

Green & Black Teas

Green and black teas are rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are one of the most powerful botanical antioxidants known today. They offer supreme action against free radical exposure which is responsible for 80% of skin aging. It can boost your skin’s antioxidant protection from the inside out.

Please note: It is essential to wear SPF for protection against the skin's harmful rays.

While increasing your intake of the above nutrients can help to protect your skin from the sun, they are not an adequate substitute for a good quality SPF sunscreen.

When outdoors for longer periods, it is always advised to wear protective clothing and apply sunscreen regularly. For more sun safety advice, have a read of 6 Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun.

Tip: We all need exposure to sunshine to produce Vitamin D, but a little goes a long way and 20 minutes of direct sunshine a day is sufficient for most people.

Please note, this blog is for informational purposes only and should not replace medical advice.

It’s always best to consult your doctor before taking any new supplements, treatments or remedies if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on medication.