First and foremost, let’s talk about what is in your skin that makes you tan. Melanin is the brown pigment that causes tanning and is the body’s way of protecting skin from burning. Darker-skinned people tan more deeply than lighter-skinned people because their melanocytes produce more melanin. Tanning is your skin’s way of trying to protect itself from sun damage— that is when melanin production increases.

But you can eat your way to a natural tan! Vitamin A is critical for healthy skin, nails and immune health, and for achieving that summer glow. Beta-carotene is a red-orange pigment that is converted by the human body into vitamin A, so here is a list of foods that contain high amounts of beta-carotene to naturally speed up your tanning process:

Sweet potato
Cooked spinach
Raw kale
Olive oil
Bell peppers

Here is one of my favorite smoothie recipes— healthy and high in vitamin A. I hope you all enjoy!

1 cup of ice cubes
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 fresh mango
1 medium chopped carrots
1 scoop protein powder (vanilla or natural)
1 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp honey or artificial sweetener (optional)