Chances are you have seen glow-enhancing creams and serums lining the shelves of your local supermarket. Some are marketed as age- defying and promise to energize skin in a matter of days. But when it comes to obtaining a glowing complexion, what you put in your body is just as important as what you put on it.
"Eating the right foods can help protect skin from oxidative stress that contributes to the aging process, clear up acne and brighten a dull complexion," said Kari Kooi, a registered dietician at Houston Methodist Hospital. "As the name implies, watermelon hydrates cells so they're plump and full; the high protein content in almonds stabilizes blood sugar, thereby minimizing acne flare-ups. These ingredients will not only brighten your plate but your overall appearance."
Here are five super foods for attaining a summer glow:
•Watermelon: With more than 90 percent water content, the fruit plays a vital role in beauty enhancement by hydrating cells to increase the production of collagen. This increase revitalizes skin, revealing a firmer and more youthful appearance. Kooi recommends enjoying a watermelon salad that's bursting with flavor by simply cutting the watermelon into bite-size pieces and combining with spicy arugula, red-wine vinegar, thinly sliced red onion, and a sprinkle of crumbled goat cheese.
•Pumpkin seeds: With increased intake into your diet, the Zinc in hulled pumpkin seeds or "Pepitas", aid the skin-cell renewal process to control the hormone and oil production linked to acne. Sprinkle a handful of seeds into your morning oatmeal or yogurt for an added crunch and slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
•Almonds: Abundant in skin-nourishing vitamin E, almonds provide powerful antioxidant protection to help neutralize skin damaging free radicals. Its 48 percent magnesium content is believed to decelerate signs of aging and acne breakouts. During mid-summer at the height of their season, almonds are a versatile addition to any sweet or savory meal.
•Pineapple: Its distinctive yellow color makes pineapples synonymous with summertime. It's filled with an enzyme that helps soften skin and brighten complexion. Kooi says to select a pineapple with a sweet fragrance at the stem end and to make sure that it is heavy for its size. Pineapples ripen from the bottom up, so the shell's transformation in color from green to gold is the distinguishing signal the fruit is ready to enjoy.
•Carrots: Incorporating carrots into your diet will not only add a pop of orange to a salad, but also helps to achieve a healthy, sun-kissed glow without spray tans or potentially harmful UV exposure. The carotenoid antioxidants in carrots, including beta-carotene, give carrots their deep orange coloring and provide a subtle natural tan by the pigments being deposited in the skin. Beta- carotene keeps skin youthful by targeting and repairing skin damage as well as protecting skin from the ravage of excess sun exposure.
Source: Houston Methodist Hospital