Eating well, in conjunction with regular exercise and a healthy and positive lifestyle, has myriad benefits. From our weight, body image, heart, and blood pressure, to a healthy mind, better skin and more energy – the benefits of a wholesome diet are seemingly endless. So, could the foods that we intake also aid in the prevention of skin cancer? Numerous medical studies suggest that foods containing certain vitamins and antioxidants might help prevent skin cancer.

As well as making a great summer barbequed or steamed meal, fish may help decrease the incidence of skin cancer. Fatty fish – such as salmon, tuna, sardines and trout – contain large quantities of omega-3 fatty acids, which are believed to fight skin-damaging free radicals. It is thought that low skin cancer rates in the Mediterranean may be due to the large consumption of fish and plant-based foods.

If your tastebuds are a bit bored with your current diet, it might be time to spice things up – literally. By adding certain herbs and spices to your diet, you can increase your antioxidant intake and help fight off skin cancer and melanoma-causing radicals.

If your dinner plate is looking a bit bleak, then it’s time to mix things up and add a little colour. In particular, fruits and vegetables that are bright orange, red, green and yellow – such as tomatoes, oranges, kale, spinach, and collard greens (broccoli, cabbage, bok choy and cauliflower) – are beneficial. That’s because they are high in carotenoids, which are believed to combat the dangerous impact of UV rays by fighting free radicals.

If you enjoy a cup or two of tea or coffee to unwind with each day, you may also be gulping down cancer-fighting antioxidants! Green and black teas contain antioxidants that hinder the growth of proteins necessary for cancer formation. Studies have shown that people who consume between one and three cups of coffee each day had a 10% reduced risk of developing melanoma, and those caffeine-addicts who washed down four or more saw a 20% reduced risk.

Whilst your diet plays a huge role in your wellbeing, and is a weapon in fighting skin cancer, it is still immensely important to remember the laws of skin protection. That means the old motto “slip-slop-slap” still applies – even if your diet is one that could make the best health gurus envious. An SPF 30+ sunscreen is crucial when heading outdoors. Also, remember to avoid sun exposure during the days’ highest UV peaks (between 11 and 2pm), cover your skin with clothing and remember your hat!

Skin cancer rates in Australia are the highest in the world; remember to regularly check your skin for atypical moles. For more information on skin cancer prevention or to get your skin checked, call the Sun Doctors on 13SKIN (137546), or head online to https://sundoctors.com.au/