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Super Summer Foods for Superb Skin

You are what you eat, so pile your plate with the good stuff.

While your diet is not solely responsible for the state of your skin, it is a major contributing factor.  Eating poorly—for example, a diet high in sugar, refined carbs, processed snacks, or trans fats—isn’t doing your skin any favors. On the flip side, your skin will benefit from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, plus plenty of water.

Super Summer Foods for Superb Skin

The summer months bring us warm days filled with bright sunshine, succulent fruits and fresh vegetables but it also brings exposure to harmful UV rays from the sun.  Too much exposure to the glorious sunshine can quickly turn the smoothest skin into a burning, itching, peeling mess. The question becomes how can you protect your skin throughout the summer season but still enjoy the outdoors.  Your first line of defense is to apply a sunscreen that contains an SPF. Secondly, take advantage of fresh fruits and vegetables that fuel your body and skin with the nutrients they offer.

The key to unlocking a gorgeous complexion is feeding your face with specific skin-strengthening ingredients. Face-friendly foods contain fatty acids (such as Omega-3), vitamins (especially C, A, and E), and plenty of antioxidants.

Omega-3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory. Consuming them will help keep your skin supple and moist , reduce redness and remedy inflammatory skin conditions such as acne.

Vitamin A, or retinol, promotes cell turnover and skin regeneration. It will also inhibit sebaceous gland activity, which causes acne.

Vitamin C stimulates collagen production. Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin. Consistent production of collagen ensures that your skin stays strong and supple, reducing wrinkles, combating aging, and promoting healing.

Vitamin E is a nutrient for the skin and is well-known for its antioxidant qualities. It acts as a line of defense for skin, neutralizing the effects of free radical damage (which contributes to aging) and environmental damage.

Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.  Antioxidants can be found in Vitamins C and E.

An effective combination of superfoods will contain the ingredients needed to boost collagen production, contribute to smoothness, and combat acne, eczema, inflammation, sunburn, and the effects of aging.

When it comes to our skin, we want to eliminate redness and inflammation as much as possible. What better way to combat redness than with something red? Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene which is an anti-aging antioxidant. Lycopene is more easily absorbed by the body when cooked so stock up on tomato sauce, ketchup and tomato juice.

Tired of drinking water? The next best alternative to a tall glass of H2O is food with a high water content.  Try hydrating with a sweeter and more satisfying option such as watermelon.  This juicy fruit is a refreshing summer snack that contains 92 percent water.  Watermelon has a high level of Vitamin C, a nutrient necessary for collagen production. Collagen is a key factor in keeping your skin strong and wrinkle free. Other fruits with high water content are grapefruit, cantaloupe, and peaches. Among vegetables, cucumber and lettuce are 96 percent water. Consuming the recommended daily water intake ensures your skin will retain moisture, curbs the appearance of wrinkles by “inflating” cells, and continually flushes the body of toxins.

Blueberries may be small, but they pack a big health punch. These little blue wonders are a nutrient rich food full of antioxidants and Vitamin C.  The antioxidants in blueberries help combat the effects of free radicals, aging and damage caused by toxins.  The Vitamin C in this low calorie summer snack helps aid in the production of collagen which helps keep skin firm and elastic. If you don't love blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries are a good alternative.

It’s not always easy eating green, but it is when green tastes this good. Avocados are trendy in the health food community – and for good reason. This creamy fruit is nutrient rich and high in mono saturated fatty acids which help to moisturize and soften skin cells from the inside out. Avocados are rich in Vitamin E and have antioxidant carotenoids, compounds which may improve skin density, tone, and thickness. Avocados have a little bit of everything your skin needs to grow (and glow).

What better way to enjoy summer seafood than with salmon.  This healthy fish has one of the richest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids found in food.  Omega-3 fatty acids are rich fats that help nourish the skin and reduce inflammatory reactions.

Last, but certainly not least: water. True, it’s not a food, but it’s arguably the key to complexion perfection. Human beings are 60 percent water, so our bodies cannot function properly without it. Combat dehydration by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Drinking the daily recommended amount of water will hydrate your skin from the inside out and keep you looking fresh-faced and feeling great.

Bonus: Coconut
You know and love that familiar summer scent: coconut. It conjures thoughts of island music and sandy beaches. While the flesh is high in fat, the meat, milk, and oil are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—the trifecta for supreme skin. Antibacterial and anti-fungal, coconut oil is an excellent substitute for butter. Everything in moderation, as coconut oil is 90 percent saturated fat.

Ideally, you’ll want a natural glow that isn’t the result of a beach binge in direct sunlight, but by consuming foods that are good for your health. By eating smartly, you’ll have superb skin long after the summer has faded to fall. Above all, balancing the colors on your plate ensures an internal balance of nutrients in your body which manifests itself in the external appearance of your skin.

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