Beauty Bounty: Antioxidant Foods to Protect the Skin

By now, you are probably very aware that eating more fruits and vegetables is great for your health, but did you know that antioxidant foods, such as fruits and veggies, are equally as good for your skin? Well they are. Just like the cells in the rest of your body, skin cells are also vulnerable to free radical damage, and antioxidants are one of the most powerful ways to keep this damage in-check, and your skin looking (and feeling) healthy and youthful.  And with summer’s product bounty at its peak, now is the perfect time to up your skincare game with fruit and vegetables straight from the farmer’s market.

Watermelon: Bright red, super juicy, and super good for you, watermelon is an antioxidant food that is also a skin powerhouse.   Infused with antioxidant vitamins A and C—all extremely important for healthy skin—watermelon also contains high levels of lycopene, a powerful phytochemical that is important for cardiovascular health.  Watermelon also contains biotin, which is great for healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Berries: From blueberries to blackberries to strawberries, new research suggests that of all the foods you can eat, berries may be the most beneficial to your health.  Bursting with not only tons of flavor but high levels of vitamin C, which can help keep your skin looking bright and glowing, these summertime jewels also contain flavonoids, fiber, biotin and omega-3 fatty acids (which can help improve the health of hair and skin).  

Cherries and other stone fruits: In addition to cherries, stone fruits include peaches, apricots, nectarines, plums, and even prunes, all of which are delicious to eat, and great for your skin.  Another powerful antioxidant food like berries and watermelon, cherries are great sources of protective vitamin C, as well as fiber, iron, magnesium and melatonin (also an antioxidant). Cherries also contain high levels of water, which will help keep your skin hydrated and supple.

Grapes: Grapes are one of the best sources of resveratrol, a powerful phytonutrient found in the skins (and also flesh and seeds) of grapes that has been shown to increase the expression of three genes associated with longevity.  Grapes also contain high levels of flavonoids, vitamin K, vitamin B12, and fiber, and are an excellent frozen for a treat that is low in calories, but high in flavor.

Tomatoes: Available in dozens of sizes and colors, and ranging in versatility, tomatoes are an antioxidant food powerhouse, and—extremely beneficial for the skin and overall health.  Very high in lycopene, tomatoes also contain vitamins A, C, and E; vitamin B1, potassium, iron, zinc, and biotin! Be sure to choose a variety of colors (red, yellow, orange) to get the most optimal intake of antioxidants from tomatoes, and eat these summertime favorites often.

Kale: Kale is one of the most nutritious, and nutrient dense, cruciferous vegetables around.  In addition to containing over 45 different flavonoids, this veggie also contains vitamins A, C, and E; vitamin B6; calcium, fiber, iron, and essential omega-3 fatty acids.  Try it in a salad, or steamed with fresh fish, or to add texture and crunch to a grain bowl for an added skin-enhancing dinner option.  

Carrots:  At their peak during summer and early fall, fresh carrots (as well as other orange foods such as oranges and pumpkins), are incredibly good for the skin. Chock-full of vitamin A, which helps keep skin looking smooth and youthful, carrots are also rich in biotin, fiber, potassium, vitamins C and E, and copper.  And you don’t have to stick with orange varieties to enjoy these benefits; white, purple and even red carrots all contain high amounts of skin protective antioxidants so head to Trader Joe’s or your favorite local farm stand and stock-up!

Posted on August 2, 2016 .