It’s summer time and living might be easy, but not for the skin. After all it’s easy to get lost in time under the hot burning sun drinking cocktails or eating ice cream.
But during summer your body needs more foods containing antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents.
The reason is: the sun is very dangerous. Too much of it causes oxidative stress and oxidative stress can be very damaging not just to the skin, but also to all tissues in the body. Oxidative stress is also the main reason we age prematurely.
Sunlight not only causes oxidative stress, but makes essential nutrients disappear from the skin.
When the skin is depleted from essential nutrients like vitamin C it starts to look older.
That’s why we need to keep track of how much time we spend underneath the burning sun, but also what we’re eating while we do that.
Here are some of my favorite foods of all seasons. Most of them just happen to grow during summer and to be the really good for your skin. These of course are not the only foods that are good for your skin during summer, but it’s a start.
In the 21st century you can find tomatoes in the store all year long, but it’s only during summer when these curvy ladies in red, stop tasting like nothing and start tasting really really really good.
Something between sweet, sour, fresh, fragrant and heaven.
And they’re good for your skin.
Tomatoes are rich in carotenoids, which are not only antioxidants, but also work as sunscreen. (1) That’s also their job in the plant: to protect it from too much sunlight. In the skin they apparently can do the same.
Conclusion: Eat more tomatoes and get less sunburns and wrinkles during summer.
Berries are not only super delicious – they’re also high in vitamin C and polyphenols.
These are antioxidants that the skin really needs during summer to balance out the heavy free radical load we get with too much sun.
Eating berries is a good way to keep your skin on the safe side and protected from skin cancer, wrinkles and premature aging overall.
Peppers are my very favorites. Not only are they fragrant without stinking too much like garlic (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but they’re also one of the richest sources of vitamin C.
And vitamin C is quite the beauty nutrient. Peppers and vitamin C not only protect as an antioxidant, but also help build more collagen for smooth skin.
Purslane is one of my favorite new discoveries. I actually discovered this plant a few years ago at a Turkish market and had no idea what it is. And I was a little confused by its Turkish name: Portulak.
In my opinion this plant deserves a name of a saint, because it’s truly amazing.
- rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which today are rarer to find than diamonds;
- has a lot of collagen boosting vitamin C
- more vitamin E than spinach
- contains lots of anti-aging vitamin A
- a great source of potassium, magnesium and calcium
- and all this at only 16 kcal per 100g.
Those are some great reasons to add purslane more often to salads and smoothies and not just throw it away when it attacks your garden (which my dad does).
Basil is one of the best herbs in the world. Ok, maybe I am not really objective here, because basil is MY favorite herb and I like to put it in literally every meal I make.
But can you really blame me? That heavenly smell combined with tomatoes and garlic…you can’t deny it.
As it often happens in life: Things that you really from the bottom of your heart love are actually good for you.
And so is basil.
Nothing beats garlic during any season. Even UV light – that little stinker is so talented I want to rub it all over my body and lay in the sun all day long.
Antioxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial (5)…Garlic, is there something you can’t do?
Because of all these health properties garlic is a true beauty food. It was shown to help with acne, prevent skin cancer and rumor has it it can also help prevent hair loss (5).
Summer is the time of the year to eat more spinach. This famous green charmer is a rich source of a number of antioxidants that protect us against sundamage. Some of them are beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and folate. (6)
That combination, found in other green leafy vegetables as well, is one of the best to keep your skin protected and to help regenerate it from sun damage. (6)
Dried plums are around all year long, but during summer plums come in their freshest and tastiest form.
Plums are among the antioxidant-richest foods in the world (7) and therefore amazing protection for your skin from UV light and for your overall health.
Plums reduce inflammation in the body, improve bone health and your memory. This means, you’ll not only be pretty, but also quite smart if you start eating plums on a regular basis.
AND DON’T FORGET
Another thing to not forget during summer for great skin is to DRINK WATER! After all if you’re dehydrated your skin will also be and that’s a good start for a wrinkle.
It’s important to be patient and consistent with these foods. Don’t expect that eating one plum today will clear out your skin and protect you from wrinkles for the whole month. Practice prevention and eat them regularly.
Now you might say that’s a list with only fruits and veggies. How attentive of you! It is! It’s the summer fruits and veggies after all, that’s what grows during summer. You can and you should of course include other foods like olive oil, yoghurt, seeds and nuts as well. Also some fish here and there.
Remember the above foods are just suggestions: if those are not exactly what you like, you can also try substituting them with something similar. Parsley instead of basil for example. A cupcake instead of a strawberry doesn’t work though.
No matter what vegetable or fruit in summer you choose, they all have beauty benefits as long as you eat them. If you just have a staring contest with them, don’t expect miracles from them. And it’s best to eat them fresh, not fried or grilled. Although I do adore grilled peppers.