While you might be tempted to turn on the grill for a summer barbecue, you might want to think twice if you’re trying to keep your skin looking flawless. The skin is the body’s largest organ and is often the first to suffer if you’re dehydrated or not getting the right nutrition. Luckily, summer also brings with it plenty of farmer's markets and hydrating fruits and vegetables, whose vitamins can keep your skin looking gorgeous all summer.
Berries. No matter which type you prefer, berries are a skin superfood. Excessive UV exposure can cause the skin to generate free radicals, leading to skin damage, wrinkles and premature aging. Berries, especially blueberries, are loaded with antioxidants that can help neutralize the effect of skin-damaging free radicals. To get the most out of your berries, make sure to choose organic since they tend to be one of the most highly-sprayed foods.
Carrots. We have all heard that eating carrots can help our vision from deteriorating, but they can also help keep skin glowing. The body converts the beta-carotene in carrots into vitamin A, which is an important ingredient in keeping skin moisturized. Also a good source of vitamin C, carrots help in skin collagen formation, which keeps skin supple and smooth.
Mangos. This delicious tropical fruit is jam-packed with over 20 different vitamins and minerals. Like with carrots, beta-carotene, which gives mangos their orange hue, is converted to vitamin A in the body, helping to keep acne at bay. Mangos are also rich in alpha hydroxyl acid, which exfoliates and rejuvenates skin by speeding cell turnover rate.
Cucumbers. At almost 95 percent water, cucumbers are almost as hydrating as a glass of H20. If you’re not a fan of eating cucumbers, you can use them externally on your skin to reap even more benefits. Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid, silica and antioxidants, which can help reduce puffy eyes and fade dark under-eye circles. Their cooling effect is also a great way to soothe sunburn and speed the healing process.
Citrus fruits. Grapefruits, oranges, lemons and limes are all fabulous for skin health. They are high in vitamin C and important amino acids such as lysine and proline. These play an important role in collagen production, helping to keep skin smooth and supple. Vitamin C is frequently used in facial products that promise to reduce wrinkling and sagging.
Fermented foods. The process of fermenting foods can create potent probiotics that can help regulate digestion, which in turn may help prevent acne and breakouts. Healthy gut flora plays a large role in healthy skin and fermented foods are an easy and delicious way to get in your daily dose of probiotics. Pickled vegetables, sauerkraut and kimchi are great choices to work into your summer meals and also happen to be great condiments for a barbecue.
Jacqueline Banks is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and their little ones healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living. Check out her website at www.jbholistic.com.