Foods To Help Fight Sunburn, Insect Bites, And Other Summer Hazards Slideshow

Summer is the perfect opportunity for spending time outdoors, but pesky problems such as bug bites and sunburns can put a damper on the season. During summertime, people often experience more intense allergies, the sun's rays become more intense, and mosquitos are more likely to pester you while you grill for your family.

Luckily, there are precautions you can take before these hot-weather maladies ruin your day. Everybody knows that mosquito repellent and sunscreen are a must this time of year. But did you know that something as simple as the foods you eat can give you an extra layer of protection?

Humans didn't always have access to harsh chemicals like the ones in sunscreen and medicine. Natural remedies have been used for centuries as a barrier between the body and illness. Food is one of these natural remedies, and you can still use them in the modern day. While your summer won't be any less sweaty, it will be a whole lot safer.

Dehydration is another health hazard. Click here for 10 Drinks More Hydrating Than Water.

Aloe Vera

Yes, aloe is also a food! Commonly used in juices and smoothies, the soothing compound can be applied directly on sunburns for instant relief.


During summertime, food spoils more quickly and bacteria grow more often on kitchen tools and appliances. Once you're afflicted with a food-borne illness, nausea and stomach pain can hit pretty hard. To help ease back into eating, simple carbohydrates (such as the ones in bananas) are a good call.

Chile peppers

They might make you sweat, but these potent peppers could be your new best friend during the muggy summer months. Chile peppers contain capsaicin, the compound responsible for the spiciness of the pepper, which also acts as an irritant for many species — including mosquitos. After you eat it, the bugs will sense the pepper in your scent and steer clear.


Because they're made up of 95 percent water, munching on cucumbers can combat the onset of heat stroke and dehydration. The crunchy vegetable has also been known to provide sunburn relief when mashed on the inflamed area of the skin.


This common recipe ingredient is useful when eaten and when mashed on the skin. Eating garlic-infused food releases allicin through your pores, giving your skin a distinctive scent. Mosquitoes will be instantly repelled upon smelling the compound. Mashing raw garlic on your skin has also been reported to ease the itch from nasty bites.

Green tea

This refreshing and caffeinated drink assists in both the prevention and treatment of sunburns. The catechin compounds in green tea assist the skin in protecting itself from the sun while the tannic acid soothes sunburn pain.

Lemon juice

This acidic compound relieves the itch from bites, heat rash, and hives from allergies. Use it to cook a refreshing summer dish, squeeze a bit into your water for an extra health boost, and rub the rest on your skin!


This soothing ingredient is used in many skincare products, and with good reason. The compounds in oatmeal relieve many types of skin discomfort, including itch from heat rash or bug bites and pain from sunburns.


High in ellagic acid, the seeds of this fruit can help protect your skin from harsh UVA and UVB rays, according to research from the Department of Nutrition and Food Science at Texas A&M University. These intense rays can cause cell damage and even skin cancer. Click here for some simple pomegranate recipes.


These starchy mounds are good to have at your cookout for more than just French fries. Rub these spuds on your skin and you may experience instant sunburn relief. According to Liana Bonadio from NutriCentre, potatoes "can help to reduce the pain and help accelerate healing."

Here are some more of the best foods to eat after a hot day outside.