The start of summer is upon us and with it comes the opportunity to enjoy trips to the beach, picnics, hikes, and other fun outdoor activities. If you plan on soaking in the sun and getting that tanned look or if you're outside for any other reason, remember to pay attention to skin health. Protection against UV rays is important and you should carry sunscreen with you at all times to avoid serious burns. There are, however, some super foods that can also help protect and support the health of your skin from the inside.
Add Some Antioxidants to the Mix
Fruits and summertime go together like wine and cheese. Besides being great for hydration, fruits can provide other nutrients that are beneficial to skin health. Watermelon, for instance, is made up of 90% water and great for those hot afternoons in the sun. But it also contains vitamin C, which is crucial for your body's continuous production of collagen—the main building block of skin cells. Vitamin C's antioxidant and immune support properties make it the perfect weapon against free radicals that can cause oxidative damage to skin and other organs. Berries can be another go-to source for preventing oxidative damage to your skin. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries…take your juicy pick. These antioxidant-rich summer soldiers can provide your body—and especially your skin—protection against free radicals. If citrus fruits are more along your line of taste, you can also get your fill of vitamin C from oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes. Squeeze the latter two into your water to not only enjoy a refreshing drink, but an extra splash of vitamin C and its collagen-building benefits. Some of these citrus fruits also have other collagen-producing ingredients such as the amino acids proline and lysine that can promote firmer and more supple-looking skin. Not to be outdone, pineapples contain a compound called bromelain. Studies have found that bromelain helps ease inflammation, which may come in handy if you are experiencing any discomfort from sunburn.
Are They Fruits or Vegetables?
While there may be some debate whether tomatoes and cucumbers are fruits or vegetables (technically, they are fruits because they bear seeds) there is no debate about their health benefits, especially for your skin. Tomatoes contain lycopene which has been shown to help stave off unwanted lines and wrinkles. It, too, is another helper in the collagen-production area. The use of cucumber in facial treatments is no fluke either. Made vastly of water, cucumbers can hydrate and replenish skin, and reduce puffiness and inflammation, especially around the eyes. Cucumbers are another powerful ally in the fight against free radicals, which can bring on unwanted blemishes and other age-related skin damage.
Vegetables, Omegas, and the Power of the Coconut
Fruits aren't the only foods that can give you super skin. Vegetables such as dandelion greens contain a healthy amount of vitamin A, another powerful antioxidant agent in the free-radical battle that can help you avoid unwanted skin damage caused by oxidative stress. Spinach and oily fish such as salmon also contain omega-3 fatty acids, which regulate your skin's oil production, giving it that natural, healthy-looking glow. Want to create a super skin-supporting meal? Whip up a salad of dandelion greens, berries, and cucumbers. For protein, add salmon. And don't forget to wash it down with coconut water, an amazing, hydrating drink containing powerful electrolytes and potassium which can help deliver more nutrients to your skin by supporting circulation. If you're going to be outdoors this summer, make sure you give your skin the proper support. With these super foods you can not only get the nutrients your body craves daily, but the valuable skin protection needed to keep your skin look healthy and youthful. Enjoy the summer season the right way today!