It’s summer for just a little bit longer and we’re continuing our series on seasonal beauty foods with certified beauty and health coach, Jolene Hart. Drawing tips from her best-sellers Eat Pretty and Eat Pretty, Live Well we’re learning how all those trips to the farmer’s market are actually making us prettier! Here’s Jolene on which late-summer fruits and veggies lead to a glowier complexion, mane and mood…
The source of summer beauty is bright, hot and life-giving: the sun. Summer is a supercharged season of activity, intensity and yang energy that can bring out extremes in your skin. More than likely you’re already feeling energized by summer’s heat, light and thriving natural world, which includes an abundance of beauty foods.
This season, balance and fuel your beauty with a diet that’s brimming with the hydrating, nourishing, antioxidant-rich bounty around you. When it comes to your skin, summer is the moment to focus on sun defense and repair, to counteract all of those extra hours of exposure. Enhance your topical SPF with foods that protect your skin and help it bounce back from the damaging effects of UV rays (offset by the sun’s amazing natural healing properties).
Opt for foods rich in lycopene, beta carotene, omega 3s or green-tea polyphenols, which have been shown to enhance the skin’s natural level of defense against UV damage and sunburns. Some seasonal sun defense highlights on your plate include watermelon, tomatoes, apricots, red peppers, cantaloupe and leafy greens. It’s also the time to hydrate well while ensuring that you’re not retaining that water; water-rich foods that serve as natural diuretics (think cucumber, celery, watermelon, parsley, zucchini) are powerful allies. Well-hydrated skin has a natural level of resilience and resistance to sun damage that is far greater than that of parched skin.
Overall, summer calls for a diet that varies daily to take it all in: rainbow-hued vegetables, warm-weather fruits and healing herbs. Each color and variety you find at the market or grown in your garden offers unique phytochemicals that benefit skin health, a sexy shape, energy and good moods all season long. Here are a few amazing beauty foods:
Basil: Eat it now for sun-damage prevention. Basil contains flavonoids that protect cells and chromosomes from UV radiation, plus it has anti-inflammatory properties that slow skin aging.
Blueberries: Eat them now for improved skin elasticity. Anthocyanin pigments in the skin of blueberries help boost skin elasticity and support healthy connective tissue.
Tomatoes: Eat them now for UV defense. Tomatoes offer a potent dose of lycopene (enhanced by cooking and/or a little drizzle of olive oil) that defends against aging UV damage to the skin.
Peppers: Eat them now for collagen building. Opt for colorful raw bell peppers (red, yellow, orange) that boast many times your daily need for vitamin C intake (essential for healthy collagen) in a single serving.
Raspberries: Eat them now for strong skin, hair and nails. Like blueberries, raspberries contain elasticity supporting anthocyanin pigments, plus vitamin C and growth-stimulating biotin for healthy hair and nails.
One of the easiest ways to max out on these ingredients is to toss them together into a simple dish, like the one below! This vibrant salad showcases some of summer’s best beauty foods—including herbs and berries that pack in massive amounts of antioxidants—topped with a dose of skin-friendly fats.
Beauty Boosting Salad + Avocado Dressing
Serves 4 to 6
For the salad:
6 handfuls (6 to 8 large leaves) swiss chard or other greens, roughly chopped
small handful each of fresh basil, dill, and mint leaves, roughly chopped
3/4 cup organic blueberries
1 pint organic raspberries
For the dressing:
¼ ripe avocado
¼ cup plus 2 Tbsp pure water
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
¼ cup packed basil leaves
2 Tbsp fresh dill
8 mint leaves
unrefined salt and ground black pepper
In a large bowl, toss greens, herbs and berries. Using a small food processor or blender, blend dressing ingredients, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add additional water, 1 tablespoon at a time, to thin. Pour over salad and serve!
What are you eating for beauty? For the full list of summer beauty foods, check out the Abundant Summer Beauty chapter of Eat Pretty: Nutrition for Beauty Inside and Out, and its companion journal, Eat Pretty, Live Well