For better skin elasticity, seek out selenium
lanapan/shutterstock"Selenium is an antioxidant mineral that protects the skin quality and elasticity, which safeguards the skin from sun damage and delays aging," says nutritionist and Nao Nutrition owner, Nikki Ostrower. "Studies have also shown that selenium even prevents some skin cancers. Foods rich in selenium include wild salmon, garlic, Brazil nuts, pastured eggs, and brown rice," she says.
Tomatoes can reverse sun damage
lanapan/shutterstockWant to erase those unflattering sun spots and burns? Then toss a few raw tomatoes into your salad. "Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which helps protect the skin from damage from the sun and the environment (think pollution) that can cause dark spots, lines, dryness, and skin roughness," says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, and owner of BZ Nutrition.
Coconut oil can improve wrinkles
lanapan/shutterstock"Coconut oil is known to rebuild our skin tissue and it can regularly be used both topically and internally for the elimination of wrinkles," Ostrower says. "Coconut oil is both hydrating and rebuilds our connective tissues, and damaged connective tissues are often the cause of wrinkles. The best kind to get is organic extra virgin coconut oil. My personal favorite is the brand Nutiva." Veggie stir-frys are delicious with coconut oil. Before you stock up though, make sure you know the facts about coconut oil's nutrition.
Eliminate dark circles by drinking green tea
imaginasty/shutterstock"Oftentimes, allergens are the cause of dark circles or puffiness," says Lauren Slayton, MS, RD and owner of Foodtrainers in New York City. "Fortunately, there are edible antihistamines. Seek out foods high in quercetin such as black or blueberries and green tea," she instructs. Who knew you could eat your way out of allergies!
Get rid of skin flakiness by eating cherries
lanapan/shutterstock"Summer is all about a nice bowl of cherries," Zeitlin says. "And what's great about this stone fruit is that it is high in in Vitamin C and potassium, two important nutrients for you skin health. Vitamin C gets that collagen pumping, while potassium helps to keep your skin well hydrated, giving you that dewy summer skin glow and preventing dry, flaky skin."
Improve your skin tissue with silica
lanapan/shutterstock"Silica is a trace mineral that strengthens the body's connective tissues—muscles, tendons, hair, ligaments, nails, cartilage, and bone–and is crucial for healthy skin elasticity," says Ostrower. "Food sources of silica include leeks, green beans, garbanzo beans, strawberries, cucumber, mango, celery, asparagus, and rhubarb. In its natural form, silica is found in the horsetail herb," she adds.
Zucchini is the secret to collagen production
lanapan/shutterstock"This summer squash is high in manganese, a mineral that helps to fight off sun damage on your skin, aids in the production of collagen, which increases skin elasticity, and it can help fight off rashes from the heat and sun," Zeitlin says. Now that's what we call a skin superfood jackpot.
Zinc does an excellent job of improving acne
lanapan/shutterstock"Zinc is one of the most important minerals for skin health and acne sufferers," Ostrower reveals. "Zinc controls the production of oil and the hormones that create acne. Often times, acne sufferers are zinc deficient. Foods rich in zinc include pumpkins seeds, ginger, pecans, eggs, and oysters."
For a natural hit of retinal, eat your greens
Pim/shutterstock"Green beans are a great seasonal skin beauty booster because they have beta-carotene in them, which converts in the body to retinal," says Zeitlin. "Retinal keeps skin smooth and works to protect past and present sun damage. You still need your sunscreen, but definitely work these green guys into your summer picnics," she advises.
For irritated skin, up your Omega-3 fatty acid intake
lanapan/shutterstock"Omega-3's have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and are known to quell redness and swelling associated with eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, and dermatitis—and it can heal those conditions for good," Ostrower shares. "Some of the first signs of omega-3 deficiency are dry and flaky skin, dull hair, and brittle nails. It's important to get enough omega-3s on a daily basis for lustrous, youthful, glowing ski. It will even prevent wrinkles. Foods rich in omega-3 are wild salmon, sardines, halibut, pastured eggs, chia seeds, flaxseeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts."