Updated May 04, 2024

Although melanoma is the least common type of skin cancer, only comprising about 1% of all skin cancer types, it is also the deadliest and most aggressive form of skin cancer. Along with skin cancer treatment, the foods that you eat may have a positive impact on your recovery and healing. Read on to learn more about fighting melanoma with diet.

A Look at Melanoma

Melanoma is a skin cancer that starts in the skin’s melanocytes. Melanocytes are cells that are found at the uppermost layer of the skin and are responsible for producing melanin, the pigment responsible for giving your skin, hair, and eyes their specific color.

While the exact cause is unknown, melanoma often develops because of prolonged UV radiation exposure from tanning beds or the sun. The UV radiation damages the melanocytes, and over time, that damage can cause the melanocytes to mutate and grow out of control, forming skin tumors which can be some of the first signs of melanoma. There may be instances in which you aren’t sure if growths are warts or skin cancer. However, identifying skin cancer will be your first order of business, and once you’ve been diagnosed with melanoma, you can pursue treatment and healthy dietary options.

Foods That Help Skin Cancer

The link between a healthy diet and skin cancer still requires further study. While no single food can necessarily treat skin cancer or melanoma, eating the right foods or following the Mediterranean diet may help to minimize your chances of getting skin cancer. Consider aiding your treatment with natural remedies for skin cancer and these skin cancer-fighting foods.

1. Antioxidants

As mentioned, UV radiation is one of the main contributors to melanoma and skin cancer in general. Part of the damage from UV radiation comes as a result of free radicals, which can cause inflammation, alter cellular function, and create mutations at the DNA level, especially for people who don’t wear sunscreen and receive high levels of sun exposure. The main substances that can combat free radicals are antioxidants. Along with their potential to prevent skin cancer, antioxidants can contribute to your overall health and well-being. Thankfully, antioxidants are readily available in a large variety of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables, serving as an excellent form of skin cancer prevention.

2. Lycopene

Along with antioxidant-rich foods that prevent skin cancer, consider foods high in lycopene. Commonly found in tomatoes, guava, watermelons, and apricots, lycopene is a pigment compound responsible for giving fruits and vegetables a characteristic red tinge. Lycopene is believed to protect tomatoes from sun damage. While it is no substitute for sunscreen, lycopene may help to prevent sun exposure that leads to skin damage and contributes to skin cancer.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential fat commonly found in fish and certain legumes. Known for their natural anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3 fatty acids may also help to minimize the risk of skin cancer by boosting the skin’s immunity to sunlight and inhibiting a compound known as COX-2, which is believed to contribute to skin cancer progression from UV rays. Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in flaxseeds, walnuts, and fatty fish, including mackerel, salmon, and tuna.

4. Polyphenols

Polyphenols are one of the active compounds found in green tea. Polyphenols are known to have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, but they may also impede the development of tumors. Polyphenols have also been found to mend DNA in sun-damaged skin, absorb UV damage, and neutralize free radicals. However, be aware that drinking too much green tea often means introducing large amounts of caffeine into your system, which can disrupt your sleep and cause other health issues.

Natural Skin cancer treatment. Learn more!

Foods for Melanoma

Fighting melanoma with diet can vary based on your own needs and the development of the cancer. However, some studies suggest that certain melanomas, and other cancers that are driven by a specific mutation, may feed on a high-fat diet, spurring their growth. As a result, incorporating lipid-lowering agents or maintaining a diet that is low in fats may suppress cancer’s growth. However, this specific mutation only applies to about 60 percent of melanomas.


Related to a low-fat diet, many experts recommend a Mediterranean diet that is high in protein during melanoma treatment. Protein is known to help the body fight infections, strengthen muscles, and generally assist in healing.

Plenty of H2O

Hydration also plays a vital role during cancer treatment. Drink plenty of water and maintain your fluid intake to prevent dehydration and promote healing and detoxification.

Sample Meal Plans and Recipes

Embarking on a health journey, especially when aiming to prevent or combat cancer or Melanoma, doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to bland and unappealing meals. Incorporating a Melanoma prevention diet rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, lycopene, and polyphenols can be both delicious and incredibly varied.

Thoughtfully crafted meal plans are designed to not only bolster your health but also to delight your taste buds. From hearty breakfasts to satisfying dinners, foods that prevent skin cancer can be a celebration of flavors that support your well-being. Let these recipe recommendations inspire you to enjoy nutritious foods that nourish your body and enhance your culinary experience, all while contributing to cancer and melanoma prevention.

Breakfast Options

Oatmeal with Mixed Berries and Walnuts: Oatmeal serves as an excellent source of fiber which aids in digestion and maintains steady blood sugar levels. Berries, loaded with antioxidants, help fight free radicals which are among common causes skin cancer. Walnuts add omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation in the body, supporting overall skin health.

Spinach and Tomato Omelette: Spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, and E, and selenium, all nutrients known to protect and repair the skin from sun damage. Tomatoes are a prime source of lycopene, which has been shown to provide some protection against UV-induced skin damage, making this meal ideal for melanoma prevention.

Chia Pudding: Chia seeds are a powerhouse of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and potentially inhibit skin cancer cell growth. The high fiber content also promotes a healthy digestive system, which is crucial for overall health maintenance.

Green Smoothie: A blend of spinach, kale, and berries provides a nutrient-dense start to the day. This smoothie is rich in antioxidants and vitamins that support skin health and protect against cellular damage, while flaxseed adds a boost of omega-3s.

Avocado Toast: Avocado is full of healthy fats and nutrients that moisturize the skin from within and help keep cell membranes strong. Tomatoes add a burst of lycopene, making this a skin-protective and nutritious breakfast option.

Lunch Options

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas: Quinoa and chickpeas make this salad a high-protein, high-fiber meal that stabilizes blood sugar and supports cell regeneration. The added vegetables are full of antioxidants which are crucial for fighting free radicals that can lead to skin cancer.

Grilled Chicken Wrap: Chicken is a lean protein that aids in muscle repair and growth. Combined with avocados and greens, it offers a balance of nutrients that promote skin health and provide essential fatty acids and antioxidants.

Lentil Soup: Lentils are an excellent source of protein and iron, essential for maintaining strong immune function. The vegetables in the soup contribute vitamins and minerals that help combat oxidative stress, reducing the risk of cancer development.

Tuna Salad: Tuna is rich in selenium and omega-3 fatty acids, both known for their cancer-fighting properties and ability to reduce inflammation. This salad is a light yet powerful meal for supporting skin health and overall wellness.

Vegetable Stir-fry: This dish is full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. The variety of vegetables provides a wide spectrum of antioxidants, supporting the body’s defense against harmful UV rays and contributing to skin cancer prevention.

Dinner Options

Baked Salmon with Asparagus: Salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for reducing inflammation and potentially lowering the risk of skin cancer. Asparagus is rich in glutathione, an antioxidant that may help protect skin from sun damage.

Tomato Basil Pasta: Tomatoes cooked into a sauce increase the availability of lycopene, which has been linked to reduced risk of certain types of skin cancer. Basil adds an anti-inflammatory boost, making this meal both protective and heart-healthy.

Stuffed Bell Peppers: Bell peppers are high in beta-carotene and Vitamin C. Combined with lean turkey and quinoa, this dish supports immune health and provides essential nutrients for skin cell protection and repair.

Grilled Vegetable Platter: Grilling vegetables preserves their nutrients and enhances the availability of antioxidants. This variety ensures a broad intake of compounds that support skin health and may help protect against UV damage.

Mackerel with Roasted Sweet Potato: Mackerel is another excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, while sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A to help protect and repair the skin.

Snack Options 

Carrot and Celery Sticks with Hummus: Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, essential for skin health. Hummus provides a good source of protein and fiber, making this snack both filling and beneficial for maintaining healthy skin.

Mixed Nuts and Dried Fruit: Nuts are high in Vitamin E, which protects the skin from oxidative damage. Dried fruits like cranberries and apricots offer vitamins and antioxidants.

Greek Yogurt with Honey and Pecans: Greek yogurt is a great source of protein and probiotics, which are good for digestive health and maintaining a strong immune system. Honey adds natural sweetness without refined sugar, while pecans provide healthy fats.

Cottage Cheese with Pineapple: Cottage cheese is high in selenium and protein, while pineapple brings a burst of Vitamin C and bromelain, known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Dark Chocolate with Almonds: Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids, which are thought to reduce inflammation and increase skin health. Almonds add texture and are another good source of Vitamin E.

These melanoma diet suggestions incorporate ingredients that not only cater to the needs of cancer patients but also make eating a pleasurable experience that supports overall health and wellness.

How to Prevent Melanoma

Worried that you’re at an increased risk for developing melanoma? Even if you don’t spend hours in sunbeds, you can still be at a high skin cancer risk if you’re not careful. Even a little sunburn can cause skin damage that leads to cancer cells.

If you are looking to reduce your skin cancer risk, start by reducing your sun exposure to harmful UV rays. High amounts of UV exposure without sun protection can damage the skin cells. When spending time outdoors, make sure to use sun protection and wear clothing that covers exposed skin.

By reducing your UV exposure and preventing sun damage to your skin, you’ll be able to get one step closer to cancer prevention.

Healthy Food For Melanoma Prevention

Foods on their own may not stop melanoma or skin cancers, but if used in concurrence with treatment, your diet can act as a foundation for improving your general health and well-being. At Immunity Therapy Center, we believe in treating your cancer holistically. This is why we provide our patients with melanoma with healthy, organic meals to fuel them through the process of the skin cancer and melanoma treatment program. If you’re looking to take the natural route and pursue alternative cancer treatments, contact us today. Before you make any diet decisions, consult your doctor to learn more about a healthy diet plan for fighting skin cancer and supporting your recovery.


Written By: Dr. Pablo Orozco

Dr. Pablo Orozco is a Board Certified Medical Doctor from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California.

Dr. Orozco has been a treating physician at the Immunity Therapy Center for more than 3 years providing daily on site patient care. He works with patients on a daily basis and guides them through the treatment process. Dr. Orozco’s passion for Alternative Cancer Treatments along with his commitment to patient care is key to insure that our patients have the best experience and results possible.



  1. Skin Cancer. Melanoma Overview. https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma/
  2. Skin Cancer. Can Your Diet Help Prevent Skin Cancer? https://www.skincancer.org/blog/can-your-diet-help-prevent-skin-cancer/
  3. American Institute of Cancer Research. In mouse study, tomatoes lower skin cancer risk. But you need sunscreen. https://www.aicr.org/resources/blog/in-mouse-study-tomatoes-lower-skin-cancer-risk-but-you-need-sunscreen/
  4. Science Daily. Taking omega-3 supplements may help prevent skin cancer, new study finds. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130226092002.htm
  5. Science Daily. Polyphenols and Skin Cancers. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123984562000499
  6. Science Daily. Melanoma mutation likes fat for fuel. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170112141359.htm
  7. University Health Nation. What to Eat & Drink During Melanoma Treatment. https://www.uhn.ca/PrincessMargaret/PatientsFamilies/Patient_Family_Library/diet_nutrition/pages/eat_drink_melanoma_treatment.aspx

Dr. Carlos Bautista is a Board Certified Medical Doctor. He received his Medical Degree from Universidad Autónoma de Baja California and has more than 20 years of experience working with Alternative Medicine to treat cancer, autoimmune diseases, chronic degenerative diseases, and infectious diseases. He opened Immunity Therapy Center in 2007 with the goal of providing the highest quality medical care for more than 5,000 patients.

At Immunity Therapy Center, our goal is to provide objective, updated, and research-based information on all health-related topics. This article is based on scientific research and/or other scientific articles. All information has been fact-checked and reviewed by Dr. Carlos Bautista, a Board Certified Medical Doctor at Immunity Therapy Center. All information published on the site must undergo an extensive review process to ensure accuracy. This article contains trusted sources with all references hyperlinked for the reader's visibility.