Credit: Courtesy of Jacq's Organics

If you thought the only way to beat the summer sun’s damaging UV rays was by coating yourself in sunscreen, think again. Mother nature can provide some SPF too.

Turns out, there’s a garden variety of naturally occurring sunscreens packed with powerful nutrients that you can pick up at your local market. And while snacking alone won't give you complete protection, these foods will help keep premature wrinkles, sunburns and free radical damage at bay. Barbara Jacques, skincare expert and creator behind the line Jacq’s Organics, shares what to snack on before hitting the beach.

Nuts About Almonds

“When it comes to skincare, almonds are the last nut anyone would think of when it comes to sun damage,” Jacques says. But almonds are moisturizing and rich in vitamins like A, D and E, with that last one working to keep skin moisturized and protecting against harmful ultraviolet rays that lead to the sun’s unwanted effects, like wrinkles, burns and skin cancer. Plus, Jacques adds, “Almonds are perfect for sensitive skin.”

Yeah for Yogurt

The next time you indulge in yogurt, keep in mind it’s rich in lactic acid and zinc. “The lactic acid found in yogurt helps with premature aging caused by excessive sun exposure and helps remove dead skin cells,” Jacques reveals. Zinc, which she points out is a main ingredient in most sunscreens, provides temporary relief and soothes itchiness associated with sunburn. “It also helps prevent redness, soothe inflammation and helps with scaring.” Go ahead, have another spoonful.

Pass the Tomatoes and Carrots

“Both of these veggies are known for their pigmented coloring and are high in beta-carotene and lypoene, nutrients that help protect against free radicals. Incorporating both carrots and tomatoes in your diet, allows your body to help defend itself naturally against UV damage,” she explains. Feel free to add an extra scoop of both to your next salad.

Tea Time

Get sipping. “Green tea,” Jacques points out, “is healing both in the body and on the skin. It restores dying skin cells with a powerful nutrient called catechins.” In addition to finding it in skincare ingredients, drinking green tea helps reverse sun damage, hydrate and detoxify the body all at the same time. Cheers.