How to Prevent Sun Damage from the Inside Out

Entrepreneur in Residence Brooke Thomas shares easy, preventative recipes.

From Brooke:
I am often in awe of the teachers at my daughters’ school. The amount of love they pour into my girls and the rest of the children can move me to tears. Time and time again, they go above and beyond what is necessary, in order to lift them to new heights. Oh, the power of a good teacher! Do you remember the teacher that left the biggest mark on your life? I didn’t meet my greatest teacher until I was in my 20’s. And it wasn't an educator in the traditional sense, but a disease that rocked me to my core and forced me to reconsider everything I thought I'd understood about my health. I was pregnant with my first daughter when I was diagnosed with stage 3 melanoma. I was stunned. Until that point, I thought I was healthy. It was 13 years ago, and I was only 26 years old, but it seems like yesterday.

I knew my life would change but I had no idea how much one heart-stopping moment in time could shift the course of my entire life. I wouldn’t fully understand it until years later, but, without it, I would never have grown into the woman I was meant to be. These days, I eat an anti-inflammatory diet, supplement with premium vitamins and drink alkaline water to reduce the acidity in my body and balance pH levels. Those are just a few of the rules I live by now. As we celebrate Melanoma Awareness Month, I want to urge you to protect yourself from the sun. Applying a good sunscreen before you go outside isn’t the only answer. Did you know the foods you eat can act as a natural barrier to the sun’s rays? Antioxidants and the pigments that give fruits and veggies their color help prevent sun damage to skin cells. These three recipes act as edible sunscreen.

How to Prevent Sun Damage from the Inside Out

Gorgeous-Glow Grilled Salmon

Salmon is loaded with Vitamin D, which helps repair damaged cancer cells and has multiple protective effects against cancer. Those with a Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to get skin cancer than those with sufficient levels. Salmon is a good source of Vitamin D. The fatty fish also has CoQ10, a powerful antioxidant that becomes harder to produce naturally as we age. According to the Mayo Clinic, adding CoQ10 into your diet may decrease the recurrence of melanoma once it’s surgically removed. It also helps reduce and prevent the spreading of cancer. And, did I mention, the omega 3’s will make your skin look fabulous?!

  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon filets
  • 4 lemon wedges
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
1. Preheat grill on high heat. After grill is heated, clean grate with grill brush. Reduce heat to medium-high heat. Generously oil the grill grate by squirting some EVOO on a paper towel and, using grill tongs, rub the oil on the grill grate.
2. Season salmon fillets with sea salt and pepper. Place salmon diagonally on the grill grate. Grill salmon for 3-4 minutes per inch of thickness on each side with the lid closed.
3. Salmon is done when it flakes easily with a fork. Salmon should be slightly firm and opaque in color. Squeeze with a little lemon and enjoy!


How to Prevent Sun Damage from the Inside Out

Tomato Basil Salad

People who eat diets rich in carotenoids have a much lower chance of chronic illness. One of the most common carotenoids in North American diets are lycopene, which are found in tomatoes and watermelons.

  • 2 cups fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 tablespoons goat cheese
  • Juice of ¼ lemon
  • ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Note: can also use a combination of organic, small heirloom tomatoes in different colors

1. Mix lemon juice, EVOO, salt and pepper in a bowl.
2. Add the tomatoes, basil and goat cheese and toss just to coat.


How to Prevent Sun Damage from the Inside Out

Watermelon Popsicles

  • 4 cups cubed watermelon, rind removed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

1. Blend watermelon and juice in a blender (or process the melon with a juicer then stir in lime juice).
2. Carefully pour or spoon the juice into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.

My oldest daughter celebrated her 12th birthday this year. To see my girls grow up strong and healthy is a reminder of my purpose in this life—to help others live truly healthy. How to Prevent Sun Damage from the Inside Out I beat the odds. In fact, one person dies of melanoma every hour. I still get my bloodwork checked yearly and my results come back better and better every time. That is proof that the changes in my life are working, and they can work for others, too. Ironically, all of the outside beauty I chased all of those years ago, was a dim comparison to the beauty that radiates from the inside out. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate this journey. I encourage you to take care of yourself and never take a day for granted. What is keeping you from living your healthiest life? What do you need to create the life you want? I’m working on an exciting new challenge and I would love to hear from you. Email me at if you’d like to live healthy and love life! Plus, get access to recipes, with a side of inspiration, at There is a free gift waiting for you!

Images courtesy of Brooke Thomas


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