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6 Foods to Keep Your Skin Glowing This Summer

July 20, 2023

Summer’s produce bounty makes it easy to keep your skin healthy from the inside out.

“The expression ‘We are what we eat’ is especially true for skin. Eating mostly fatty, greasy foods might cause acne break outs while foods high in water content – like fruits and vegetables – help keep skin moist and soft,” says Melissa Keeney, RDN, clinical nutrition manager at St. Vincent’s Medical Center.

But which foods are the best for your skin?

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These are the 6 best foods for your skin.

One food is not going to radically alter your skin, so Keeney suggests following a healthy diet with fresh, low-fat foods as often as possible.

“Our skin reflects what’s happening inside our bodies based, in part, on what we eat, and what we expose it to externally, such as smoking and the sun’s dangerous ultraviolent (UV) rays,” she explains.

The best foods for healthy skin are:

  1. Berries. Full of fiber, nutrients and antioxidants called polyphenols and anthocyanins that can neutralize and reduce damage to cells, berries are all are great options. Try baking blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and strawberries into a summer crisp or freezing them with chocolate and Greek yogurt into a bark.
  2. Watermelon. Peak watermelon season in August is the perfect time for warm and humid days. At 91% water content, watermelon’s hydration can keep skin looking great. It’s also an excellent source of vitamin C – which can slow early skin aging, prevent sun damage and improve acne – and vitamin A for healthy skin and hair.
  3. Cherries. Sweet red cherries are a good source of vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber. And they’re great as a sweet treat, like cherry coconut sorbet.
  4. Avocado. Good sources of vitamins C and E, antioxidants protecting cells from damage, avocados provide unsaturated fat, which can help your body absorb fat soluble, skin-healthy vitamins like A, D, E and K. Carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin may also improve skin tone and health. Cut one up with cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, herbs and mango.
  5. Green tea. While technically a drink, iced green tea is a great addition to a beach day or BBQ. Its flavonoids can help decrease fine lines and some evidence shows it may prevent UV-induced damage. Add fresh mint and lemon for extra skin-healthy vitamin C.
  6. Bell peppers. These are among the highest in vitamin C with even more than oranges! Vitamin C is needed for collagen production and is also an antioxidant, meaning it reduces inflammation and fights off free radicals. When it’s too warm to use the oven for stuffed peppers, try a bell pepper salad with mint and dill.

> Related: 5 Reasons to Eat More Watermelon

Eating fresh produce helps, too.

Scanning options in the supermarket produce section or at a farmer’s market this summer is time well spent, Keeney adds.

“A variety of foods gives us a variety of nutrients,” she says. “Look at the colors of vegetables and fruits – the deeper in color, the more nutrients it contains.”

Other skin-friendly suggestions include:

  • Keep a healthy mindset about food. In a healthy diet, all foods fit.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Decrease or avoid alcohol. Alcohol dehydrates you and your skin. Instead, try a mocktail like a pineapple citrus slushy by blending citrus flavored seltzer, pineapple juice, lime, frozen peaches and ice.
  • Wear sunscreen.