Prevent Skin Cancer with Food Instead of Sunscreen

Skin cancer is the one type of cancer most widely spread in the U.S., taking more number of cases then breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers all combined. The number of treated nonmelanoma skin cancer is over 5.4 million in more than 3.3 million people.

The third most common type of skin cancer is melanoma, and also the type that mostly results in death. It is actually found on the places of the body that are least exposed to sun, like genitals, the soles of the feet, inside the nose and mouth and under the fingernails. Therefore, most melanoma cases are associated with patients who were less exposed directly to the sun than others. If the exposure is only from the indoors trough a glass window, the body is only exposed to the damaging UVA rays, and not to the good ones that contain vitamin D. The more our body receives vitamin D through the sun, the chances for skin cancer decrease.

Most of the sunscreens block the body’s absorption of vitamin D and also contain a lot of toxic chemicals. According to the Environmental Working Group, 3 out of 5 types of sunscreen are actually harmful and the amount of protection they provide is minimal. On the top of the list are the leading brands. All of them contain dangerous ingredients such as oxtinoxate, oxybenzone, padimate and many others that can disrupt hormonal balance and brain signaling, low female birth weights etc.  When we apply them on, all dangerous ingredients they contain are being absorbed through our skin and go directly into our cells and bloodstream.

Therefore, the best way to protect ourselves from skin cancer is to rely more on the food we consume. The American Cancer Society recommends to get our cancer-fighting nutrients from whole food sources instead of supplements because of the fact that supplements have different effect on cancer.


Oxidative damage can be the reason for increased risk of cancer. Food that is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin C and E and carotenoids are very effective in lowering the risks. Such foods are:

  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Berries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Citrus fruits
  • Spinach and kale
  • Tomatoes and red peppers

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish prevent cancer growth and also lower the risk of heart disease.


Selenium reduces the risk of death from skin cancer by half. Consume it through:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Walnuts
  • Free-range chicken
  • Grass-feed beef

Vitamin A

The safest choice to take in vitamin A is through beta carotene, i.e. foods like:

  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Sweet potatoes

When taken as a supplement, vitamin A is usually toxic. Therefore, the better option is to let your body convert it.  

Vitamin B

Nicotinamide, or Vitamin B3 has a great role in protecting the immune system and prevent UV damage to the skin. Find it in meats such as:

  • Grass-feed beef
  • Free-range chicken
  • Venison
  • Salmon
  • Nuts

Vitamin C

When it comes to vitamin C, recent studies have actually shown that vitamin C supplements protect skin cells and help repair DNA damage caused by the sun.  Consuming it in whole food form also lowers the risk of cancer and it is found in:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Leafy greens

Vitamin D

The best source comes directly from the sun, but also from:

  • Salmon
  • Eggs

Vitamin E

It naturally occurs in:

  • Asparagus
  • Olives
  • Seeds
  • Spinach 

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