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  • Writer's pictureGrow

5 Foods That Help Protect From the Sun Rays

With summer around the corner, we are all thinking about being outside and in the sun. Not all sunscreen is created equal. When considering what sunscreen to use, there are concerns around using products that contain chemicals like oxybenzone, because those chemicals themselves may lead to cancer, which is what you’re trying to prevent by wearing sunscreen in the first place, right?

The United States lags behind other countries in quality sunscreen products due to FDA limitations on ingredients in sunscreen. There is also a way to guard your skin against the sun’s damaging rays totally naturally… with food!

Lycopene is a key nutrient to protect your skin: It absorbs both UVA and UVB radiation and can make the skin more photo-protective over time, just like topical sunscreen would. Tomatoes are well-known for their lycopene content, but watermelon has far more lycopene per serving, and its high water content makes it perfect for staying hydrated in the heat of summer.

Here are 4 sun-blocking foods to add to your families summer diet:


Its high lycopene content can make your skin more photo-protective over time, acting like topical sunscreen. Lycopene is also an antioxidant that helps prevent sun damage from occurring, helping ward off skin cancer.


Tomatoes also contain lycopene, although not as much as a serving of watermelon. They make for a lovely summer food served raw or cooked into salsa, pasta sauce and so much more... making them a versatile ingredient to add to many summer dishes.


Carrots contain beta-carotene which can make people less sensitive to the sun and less likely to burn.

Green Tea

Green tea and matcha are super high in antioxidants which help protect you from sun damage and skin cancer. Green tea is also one of those teas that taste great hot or iced, making it great for a hot summer day. You can even have an iced matcha latte if you want to turbocharge your day with powerful antioxidants. There is also evidence that caffeine protects against sun damage, and green tea has a moderate amount of caffeine per serving.

Guava Fruit

Guava is high in both lycopene and other antioxidants, which protect you from sun damage and act as a natural sunscreen. It may be harder for you to find guava though; so rely on other summer staples when necessary. If you can find guava, it makes for a great juice or frozen treat. Eat up, and don’t forget your sunscreen!

GROW is designed to be a resource and an entertaining publication for the whole family, by utilizing real and authentic family life experiences to challenge, encourage, inspire, and GROW families.

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