Nutritionist, Kara Stout, explains the top 10 foods that will leave you with fabulous skin this summer season.
What we eat can have profound effects on our skin. Eating certain things like fried foods, refined sugar or too many processed foods can cause breakouts, wrinkles and aging—definitely not what we want! The great news is that you have the power to change that and enjoy healthy, whole foods full of vitamins and antioxidants that will give you clear, pretty skin.
Before jumping into the list, I have to mention water. You hear this all the time, but it’s so important, not only for our general health, but also healthy skin. A good general rule is to drink half your weight in ounces of pure water each day. And although it’s a super-simple tip, it’s not always easy to remember. So, what I’ve found helpful is having a daily reminder on my phone that goes off at 2 p.m. That makes me stop and evaluate how much water I’ve had that day and consider how much more I need to drink the rest of the day.
For beautiful skin and that highly desirable summer glow, be sure to add these 10 foods to your diet. It doesn’t hurt that they are also delicious!
- Strawberries: These low-glycemic, heart-shaped berries are packed with vitamins A, C and K, fiber, and an abundance of antioxidants and flavonoids, all of which contribute to pretty skin. They are known to brighten dull skin and improve the complexion, too. An extra note on how fiber helps our skin—fiber is what assists our bodies in removing toxins, and toxins are a contributing factor for breakouts. So foods high in fiber—like strawberries and all the foods on this list—are a must! In addition to eating strawberries, you can also juice strawberries and dab the juice on your face with a cotton ball, leave for 10 minutes and then rinse off. It’s something simple and fun to try, and you should notice a brighter complexion!
- Kiwi: Kiwis are a great source of vitamin C, and actually provide more vitamin C than oranges! Vitamin C helps produce collagen, which helps make our skin firmer and smoother. Kiwis are a good source of vitamin E, which is also very nourishing for the skin. These essential vitamins can help prevent wrinkles and blemishes.
- Watermelon: Such a great summer snack! Aside from it being refreshing and sweet, it is very hydrating, as it is made up of about 92 percent water. Staying hydrated is a must for radiant summer skin. Watermelon also contains vitamin A and the antioxidant lycopene, which contributes to healthy, fresh-looking skin.
- Blueberries: These pretty berries are full of beautifying nutrients, plus they are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C. The antioxidants and phytochemicals in blueberries help to deactivate free radicals, and free radicals are what can lead to skin damage and aging. Blueberries can also help reduce the appearance of splotchy skin and acne. Acne is often related to hormones, and the nutrients in blueberries can help lessen these hormonal effects.
- Cherries: Cherries are a summer must! They have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties, and are also a great source of naturally occurring melatonin, which can contribute to good sleep. Plenty of beauty sleep is vital for great skin.
- Cucumbers: Cucumbers are beneficial for your skin through consumption and also by placing them on your eyes to reduce puffiness and dark circles. My new favorite beauty trick is rubbing two slices all over my face in a circular motion for about five minutes. It feels so refreshing and makes your skin glow almost immediately. Cucumbers contain B vitamins, which can decrease stress. Stress can definitely affect our skin, so get in those B vitamins! Also, cucumbers can help soothe sunburns and fight sun damage.
- Kale: Dark leafy greens like kale are a must for clear, pretty skin and anti-aging benefits. Kale is loaded with vitamins A and C, both of which are vital to healthy skin. Kale is also a great source of the mineral copper, which reduces inflammation and helps in making collagen. Copper assists in the making of melanin, a pigment that can safeguard your skin against the sun.
- Tomatoes: One of the top benefits of tomatoes is the high amount of lycopene they contain. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant and gives tomatoes that pretty red color. Tomatoes are great for renewing dull skin and helping to retain moisture, which in turn prevents wrinkles.
- Lemons: Citrus fruits like lemon are essential for beautiful skin. Like the majority of the foods listed above, they are rich in vitamin C. One of the best and easiest ways to get in plenty of fresh lemon is drinking a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon first thing in the morning. In addition to the many health benefits this simple drink provides, it helps clear up acne, is hydrating for the skin and helps with digestion. Good digestion leads to great skin! You should notice the benefits of drinking lemon water pretty quickly.
- Avocados: There’s no way I could leave out the beloved avocado! Avocados are highly nutritious and a great source of healthy fats. They’re also an excellent source of biotin and vitamin E, which both contribute to cell regeneration and help protect the skin. Avocados provide youthful, healthy skin when consumed and also when added to a homemade face mask.