12 Foods of Summer for Your Skin

Kachiu Lee, M.D.

It’s the season of shedding clothes and feeling the warm sunshine on your sunscreen-covered skin. While you’re protecting your skin from the outside, there are some fantastic summer foods available that will help your skin from the inside too.

Cherries

These pitted summertime treats not only taste great but they are also rich in antioxidants that can repair your skin. They will help to inhibit inflammation, hyperplasia, and abnormal skin cells that can be caused from UV damage. Fresh cherries are always best, though, as some of the antioxidants are destroyed when cherries are frozen.

Pomegranates

You may have heard of the term free radicals. These are molecules in the body that can cause damage at the cellular level. The antioxidants in pomegranates can fight those free radicals and can also help to stimulate growth of new skin cells that thicken the upper layer of skin. That will help your skin attain a natural glow, as well as produce a softer skin texture. The antioxidants in this fruit can also inhibit some skin cancer activity caused by UV damage.

Figs

The fig plant leaf can help to exfoliate the skin by turning over the dead layers of the skin. It also contains antioxidants that help improve skin texture. These amazing and delicious fruits come in a variety of colors. While all of them are good, the color of the fig itself correlates with the how many antioxidants it holds -- the darker the fig, the more antioxidants.

Walnuts

Walnuts are a delicious healthy snack or a great addition to your salad, fruit, or yogurt. Not only do they taste great, but they also contain a type of fat known as Omega-3. This healthy fat is not only good for your heart, but it can also help to strengthen the fats in your skin. It acts like a natural moisturizer. On top of that, wonderful walnuts also contain a form of vitamin E that has been found to fight the effects of UV light. So, in theory, walnuts can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by mitigating UV damage. But don’t peel away all the goodness. Most of the antioxidants are found in the thin skin membrane of the walnut. If you want big benefits from these little powerhouses, eat that skin too.

Watermelon

This amazing fruit is the quintessential summer food. And it’s named appropriately because it is so high in water concentration it helps to keep you hydrated. If you can’t drink 8 glasses of water, add this fruit to your diet. This salt-free form of natural hydration can also help to decrease puffiness around your eyes.

Tomatoes

Personally, I love heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market. But no matter what your favorite kind of tomato might be, each one is rich in lycopene. That is one of the best antioxidants to help prevent UV damage, so pile on those fresh tomatoes to your salads, sandwiches, and burgers.

Carrots

This tasty vegetable is high in beta carotene. That is a precursor to vitamin A, which is an important way to help prevent wrinkles and fine lines, and help maintain your skin health.

Avocado

Forget the guacamole and head straight to the source. Avocadoes are rich in great, healthy fats. They’re also a good natural ingredient for masks or topical moisturizers because of these fats and vitamins. Your skin will love it.

Kale

This green is a nice summery food and extremely high in vitamin A, which helps to promote healthy skin growth. Toss it into a salad or soup and enjoy all those vitamins.

Peppers

No matter what color you choose, peppers are a wonderful addition to your meals because they are high in carotenoids, which can decrease your sensitivity to the sun. Of course, you still need your sunscreen, even if you’re eating peppers!

Berries

Ah. Berries. The favorite fruits of summer. No matter which ones you choose, they are high in antioxidants, especially blueberries. But here’s a tip -- if you combine blueberries with dairy, your body won’t absorb the full effects of those antioxidants. So, have your yogurt, and your blueberries, but not together.

Rosemary

This fragrant herb is rich in carnosol and ursolic acid, both of which can protect your skin from some of the free-radicals caused by UV damage. These components are also found in rosemary oil, so you can reap the benefits of them by using the oil on your skin. Get the benefits of rosemary, either sprinkled onto your salads or as a moisturizing oil!

Enjoy these delicious summer foods this season. They’re good for your skin, and so much more!

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