15 Summer Superfoods for Absolutely Gorgeous, Glowing Skin
Load your meals with these delicious superfoods, and you'll have a beautiful complexion all summer long.
For better skin elasticity, seek out selenium
"Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that protects the skin quality and elasticity, which safeguards the skin from sun damage and delays aging," says nutritionist and Nao Nutrition owner, Nikki Ostrower. "Studies have also shown that selenium even prevents some skin cancers. Foods rich in selenium include wild salmon, garlic, Brazil nuts, pastured eggs, and brown rice," she says. Here are 11 secrets your skin wishes you knew.
Tomatoes can reverse sun damage
Want to erase those unflattering sun spots and burns? Then toss a few raw tomatoes into your salad. "Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect the skin from damage from the sun and the environment (think pollution) that can cause dark spots, lines, dryness, and skin roughness," says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, and owner of BZ Nutrition.
Coconut oil can improve wrinkles
"Coconut oil is known to rebuild our skin tissue and it can regularly be used both topically and internally for the elimination of wrinkles," Ostrower says. "Coconut oil is both hydrating and rebuilds our connective tissues, and damaged connective tissues are often the cause of wrinkles. The best kind to get is organic extra virgin coconut oil. My personal favorite is the brand Nutiva." Veggie stir-frys are delicious with coconut oil. Before you stock up though, make sure you know the facts about coconut oil's nutrition.
Eliminate dark circles by drinking green tea
"Oftentimes, allergens are the cause of dark circles or puffiness," says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD and owner of Foodtrainers in New York City. "Fortunately, there are edible antihistamines. Seek out foods high in quercetin such as black or blueberries and green tea," she instructs. Who knew you could eat your way out of allergies!
Get rid of skin flakiness by eating cherries
"Summer is all about a nice bowl of cherries," Zeitlin says. "And what's great about this stone fruit is that it is high in in Vitamin C and potassium, two important nutrients for you skin health. Vitamin C gets that collagen pumping, while potassium helps to keep your skin well hydrated, giving you that dewy summer skin glow and preventing dry, flaky skin."
Improve your skin tissue with silica
"Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body's connective tissues—muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone–and is crucial for healthy skin elasticity," says Ostrower. "Food sources of silica include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus, and rhubarb. In its natural form, silica is found in the horsetail herb," she adds. Next, check out these 8 essential foods for beautiful skin.
Zucchini is the secret to collagen production
"This summer squash is high in manganese, a mineral that helps to fight off sun damage on your skin, aids in the production of collagen, which increases skin elasticity, and it can help fight off rashes from the heat and sun," Zeitlin says. Now that's what we call a skin superfood jackpot.
Zinc does an excellent job of improving acne
"Zinc is one of the most important minerals for skin health and acne sufferers," Ostrower reveals. "Zinc controls the production of oil and the hormones that create acne. Often times, acne sufferers are zinc deficient. Foods rich in zinc include pumpkins seeds, ginger, pecans, eggs, and oysters."
For a natural hit of retinal, eat your greens
"Green beans are a great seasonal skin beauty booster because they have beta-carotene in them, which converts in the body to retinal," says Zeitlin. "Retinal keeps skin smooth and works to protect past and present sun damage. You still need your sunscreen, but definitely work these green guys into your summer picnics," she advises.
For irritated skin, up your Omega-3 fatty acid intake
"Omega-3's have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and are known to quell redness and swelling associated with eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis—and it can heal those conditions for good," Ostrower shares. "Some of the first signs of omega-3 deficiency are dry and flaky skin, dull hair, and brittle nails. It's important to get enough omega-3s on a daily basis for lustrous, youthful, glowing ski. It will even prevent wrinkles. Foods rich in omega-3 are wild salmon, sardines, halibut, pastured eggs, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts."
Bell peppers will help you achieve a gorgeous summer glow
"Bell peppers are one of the ultimate beauty foods, and especially the red ones. They are a particularly great source of carotenoids, which help to prevent wrinkles and increase blood flow to your skin," says Zeitlin. "They can also work to prevent acne and breakouts, keeping your skin clear, glowing, young, and fresh looking all summer long." Don't miss these 8 quick beauty tricks for radiant summer skin.
Dull skin needs the help of Sibu Sea Buckthorn
"My favorite skin improvement food is, without a doubt, Sibu Sea Buckthorn," says Slayton. "If you want luminous skin, think of this pretty orange berry that tastes like a Sour Patch Kid. Sea-buckhorn's Latin name means 'making horses shine' and this interesting omega-7 oil, rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, is helpful for many skin conditions. In the New York City-area, Juice Generation sells shots of sea buckthorn or you can buy unsweetened Sibu puree. Cheers!"
Mineral water is the ultimate summer staple
"Drink plenty of pure water, mineral rich water," Ostrower instructs. "Water provides the medium for all chemical reactions in our body. Additionally, it helps to cleanse and purify toxic debris and wash away rancid oils from the skin. During the summer I love making flavored water by adding sliced cucumber and strawberries to it. It's more delicious and nutritious."
You can fight fine lines with the help of blackberries
"Blackberries are at their most delicious at this time of year, and they are a great beauty food thanks to an antioxidant called anthocyanin," Zeitlin reveals. "Anthocyanins help protect your skin from fine lines and dryness by deactivating the free radicals that damage your skin from the inside out," she explains.
Sweet potatoes help hydrate your dry skin
If there's one summer skin condition we all need some help improving, it's definitely dryness. "Dry skin can be a sign that more vitamin A is needed," explains Slayton. "Vitamin A is also known as retinol, and retinoids are used topically in many skin products. A baked sweet potato with pastured butter and leafy greens like spinach or kale provides a vitamin A trifecta," she says. Make sure you know the 10 ways dermatologists switch up their skin-care routine in the summer.