Woman Wearing an Orange Swimsuit Applying Sunscreen

Eat your sunscreen (HERE’S HOW)

Summertime is just around the corner, and it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. In this video by The Dr. Gundry Podcast, we’ll discuss the right ways to keep your skin healthy and safe during sunny summer months. But before we delve into sunscreen, let’s talk about something you might not have considered – your diet. Your gut and your skin are connected, and they work together as your body’s line of defense against dangerous invaders. By incorporating skin-supporting nutrients like lycopene, omega-3 fatty acids, and sulforaphane-rich foods into your diet, you can improve your skin’s ability to handle sun exposure. Furthermore, when it comes to choosing a sunscreen, it’s important to opt for products with a titanium oxide or zinc oxide base, as many commonly available sunscreens can disrupt your microbiome and potentially lead to health issues. Remember, it’s all about shopping smart and making choices that prioritize your skin’s health. Safeguard your skin and enjoy the summer safely!

The Gut-Skin Axis

Your gut and your skin may seem unrelated, but they are actually connected through what scientists call the gut-skin axis. Just like your gut and brain communicate through the gut-brain axis, your gut and skin have microbial communities, known as microbiomes, that play a crucial role in your overall health. Both your gut and your skin act as barriers, protecting your body from harmful invaders. When one is weak, the other can also suffer. Your gut health is especially important as it affects your ability to absorb nutrients that support healthy skin. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to your gut health to ensure your skin stays healthy.

anatomy, bacteria, bacterium

Gut Health

Skin-Supporting Nutrients

To protect your skin from sun damage, it’s important to incorporate certain nutrients into your diet. Lycopene is one such nutrient that plays a significant role in sun protection. Lycopene gives fruits their red and pink color and has been found to offer protection against the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. Some lycopene-rich foods you can include in your diet are peeled, seeded, pressure-cooked tomatoes, red cabbage, raw carrots, asparagus, strawberries, and pink grapefruits. These foods are not only delicious but also provide your body with the lycopene it needs to keep your skin protected.

Another important nutrient for skin health is omega-3 fatty acids. Recent studies have shown that consuming omega-3s may help prevent certain types of skin damage, including sun damage. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids include omega-3 eggs, walnuts, avocado, wild-caught salmon, and flax seeds. These foods are not only beneficial for your skin but also taste great, making it easy to incorporate them into your daily diet.

a bottle of pills sitting on top of a table
Eat your sunscreen (HERE’S HOW) 5

Sulforaphane, a specific antioxidant, is also essential for maintaining healthy skin and potentially reducing the risk of skin cancer. While you can’t find a bottle of sulforaphane on store shelves, you can get it from broccoli, especially broccoli sprouts. Other cruciferous vegetables such as kale, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower also contain sulforaphane, making them excellent choices for supporting your skin health. Additionally, vitamin C plays a crucial role in supporting radiant, strong, and healthy skin. Foods high in vitamin C include broccoli, kale, Brussels sprouts, thyme, parsley, and lemon juice. Adding these foods to your diet will ensure you are providing your skin with the nutrients it needs to thrive.

Shopping Smart for Sunscreen

Sunscreen is often considered essential for protecting your skin from the harmful effects of the sun. However, it’s important to choose your sunscreen wisely, as some chemical compounds found in many sunscreens can disrupt your microbiome and potentially lead to health issues. Chemical compounds such as benzophenone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, phthalates, parabens, and hormone disruptors should be avoided.

Instead, opt for sunscreens with a base of titanium oxide or zinc oxide. These ingredients provide effective sun protection without harming your microbiome. Additionally, consider using protective clothing such as long-sleeve shirts and wide-brim hats for extra sun protection, especially if you have particularly sensitive skin. By shopping smart for sunscreen and prioritizing the health of your microbiome, you can enjoy the sun safely.

Woman Wearing an Orange Swimsuit Applying Sunscreen
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Other Sun Protection Methods

In addition to sunscreen, there are other methods you can utilize to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Protective clothing, such as long-sleeve shirts and wide-brim hats, can provide an extra layer of defense against sun exposure. These clothing options help to shield your skin and prevent sunburns. If you have sensitive skin, it’s crucial to take extra precautions to avoid sunburns, as they can be painful and uncomfortable.


Taking care of your skin involves more than just sunscreen. The connection between your gut and your skin is vital to maintaining healthy skin and protecting yourself from sun damage. By incorporating skin-supporting nutrients into your diet, shopping smart for sunscreen, and considering additional methods of sun protection, you can enjoy the sunshine while keeping your skin healthy and protected. Remember, your gut and skin work together as a team, so take care of both to ensure the best possible outcomes for your overall health and well-being.