Along with hot, sunny weather, summer also means increased sweat, salty ocean water, pool chlorine, and tans and sunburns – which all take a toll on your skin. However, the seasonal foods we love to eat can actually help rechiverse the damage and nourish your skin! Try incorporating these foods into your summer meals and snacks:
Water: Water is essential for your skin, digestion, metabolism, hormones, and all of your body’s other systems. It maintains hydration for moist, plump, and blemish-free skin. As a digestive aid, it rids the body of toxins, waste, and impurities while supporting regularity. For a refreshing summer drink, add cucumber and mint or strawberries and citrus fruits to a pitcher of water and keep it refrigerated or in a cooler.
Protein: Protein builds and repairs tissue, and is essential to skin, hormones, enzymes, and the immune system. Your body’s natural antioxidant enzymes protect against oxidative stress. Nuts, seeds, Greek yogurt, turkey slices, low fat cottage cheese, fish, chicken, and lean chicken, turkey, and beef burgers are all great sources of protein.
Anti-Inflammatory Foods: Foods high in monounsaturated fats, like extra-virgin olive oil, fish oil (omega-3’s, or EPA and DHA), avocado, tarVsour cherries, and blueberries, decrease and prevent inflammation. Avoid saturated and trans fats (found in fried and processed foods) and refined sugars, which increase inflammation.
Lycopene: A Vitamin A precursor, this cartenoid has been shown to decrease UV damage, inflammation, and oxidative stress. It’s highly concentrated in tomatoes, watermelon, pink grapefruit, and guava, and is most bioavailable in heatprocessed or oil-based tomato products like canned tomato juice, tomato paste, and sun-dried tomatoes.
Cocoa/Chocolate: Cocoa contains flavonoids, which act as antioxidants and can improve skin quality, according to research. Flavonoids increase blood flow and skin oxygen saturation while smoothing skin texture.
Antioxidants: Vitamin C is found in oranges, broccoli, bell peppers, strawberries, watermelon, grapefruit, and other fruits and vegetables. Vitamin E is found in sunflower seeds, almonds, olives, spinach, and papaya. Polyphenols are found in green tea, grape seeds, and pomegranate. These skin antioxidants all fight against free radicals, increase sunscreen efficacy, and help protect skin from UV light and free radical damage.
AVOCADO High in Vitamin E for anti-aging; antioxidants promote clear, glowing skin and healthy hair
OLIVE OIL Healthy fat is anti-inflammatory, promotes healthy skin, and protects against UV rays
ALMONDS High in Vitamin[, and protect against UV rays and free radical cell damage
BRAZIL NUTS One nut meets 100% daily selenium, protects against skin stress, and can improve acne
OMEGA-3s Anti-inflammatory for skin health; found in fatty fish like Salmon
COCONUT OIL High in Vitamin E and antioxidants for great skin and hair; improves digestion and metabolism
FRUITS & VEGGIES
BERRIES High in Vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber
TOMATOES High in lycopene, decreases UV damage and inflammation; most bioavailable with added oil
CARROTS High in antioxidants like beta carotene (a Vitamin A precursor)
CELERY High in water content and fiber to aid in digestion and help keep you full for weight loss
CUCUMBER High in water; anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits
POMEGRANATE Contains polyphenols, anti-aging skin antioxidants that improve sunscreen efficacy
PINK GRAPEFRUIT High in Vitamin A, carotene, lycopene, and Vitamin C; can help with weight loss and increase metabolism
WATERMELON High in water content, lycopene, Vitamin C, and potassium
RED PEPPERS More Vitamin C than citrus fruits and high in fiber; great for digestion and the skin
Summer Yogurt Parfait
This recipe makes a delicious breakfast, lunch, or even a healthy snack. It’s packed with protein, antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber – sweet, satisfying, fill in , and most important, super for skin!
- 6 oz plain yogurt (Greek or coconut)
- 1/4 cup blueberries and 1/4 cup raspberries
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 tbsp shredded coconut
- 1 tbsp sliced almonds or walnuts
- 1 tbsp apple butter or all natural (no sugar added) fruit preserves
Add yogurt to a small bowl or cup. Layer and/or arrange the remaining ingredients, mix as desired, and enjoy!