With Summer rolling in we start to think about days lounging at the beach, weekend BBQ’s with friends and family, and wearing shorts at long last! It’s also the time we start to focus on getting ourselves in tip top shape both inside and out so that we can enjoy the Summer and festive season.

Glowing, healthy skin and hair is something many of us aspire to over summer. Eating well and getting plenty fruits and veges is key to achieving this. If you’re healthy on the inside it makes sense that it radiates through to the outside.

Here are some suggestions which may help you to achieve photography worthy skin and hair.

Eat foods high in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals in your body. Free radicals are compounds that can cause harm if their levels become too high in your body. They’re linked to multiple illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, cancer and skin issues such as ageing.

Your body has its own antioxidant defences to keep free radicals in check. However, antioxidants are also found in food, especially in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based whole foods. Several vitamins, such as vitamins E and C, are effective antioxidants.

Some of the best antioxidant foods are boysenberries, blackcurrants and blueberries. They can support our skins defences and help to reduce the risk of sun damage and ageing. A handful a day will do wonders to your energy levels and skin, hair and nails. If you’re looking for a quick dose of these mighty berries, then consider taking a Red Shot daily.

Get Omega-3 into your diet
Omega-3 fats are among the most studied nutrients. They’re abundant in foods like walnuts, seafood, fatty fish, and certain seed and plant oils. Eating foods rich in omega-3s may protect against sun damage, reduce acne, guard against dry, red or itchy skin and boost hair growth.

Eat tomatoes
Eating foods rich in beta carotene, lutein and lycopene can help to increase your skin’s sun defenses and assist in reducing wrinkles. This is important in summer when our skin needs as much protection as it can get. One of our favourite summer foods which is packed full of good stuff is tomatoes. Tomatoes are such a versatile fruit (yes, it’s a fruit not vegetable). You can include them with many breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes. One of our favourites is to add them to a fresh summer salad and dressed with our Raspberry balsamic dressing.

Other foods rich in beta carotenes, lutein and lycopene are:
Beta carotenes - carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, apricots, capsicum, broccoli
Lutein - spinach, chard, kale, pistachios, parsley and green peas
Lycopene - watermelon, grapefruit, papaya, asparagus, red cabbage, mangos

Increase your intake of soy
Studies have shown that a consistent, daily intake of soy for 8-12 weeks can improve your skin elasticity[1]. It has also been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines, helping to make your skin glow[2]. Our favourite way to get soy into our morning breakfast routine is by substituting 1 cup of almond milk for 1 cup of soy milk in our Banana, Berry, Vanilla and Chai smoothie.

Stay away from sugar
Naturally occurring sugars found in foods like fruit is fine. It’s refined and processed sugars which can cause inflammation in the body and stand in the way of healthy skin.  Sugar causes significant weight gain through various mechanisms. It provides the body with empty calories, causing insulin spikes, and decreasing growth hormone secretion. That means people who consume excess sugar gain weight.  

To make matters worse, long-term use of sugar results in free radical damage to the collagen in our skin which contributes to wrinkles, and is the number one reason women develop cellulite. If you’re interested in finding out the scoop on sugar, then read this article.

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
The summer sun can be especially tough on our skin, and the importance of wearing sunscreen cannot be overstated. It’s essential for healthy glowing skin. Sunburn causes all kinds of damage and can lead to sunspots and premature ageing. No one wants to walk around with a red sunburnt face, so make sure applying a good sunscreen is a part of your daily ritual – all year round.

Vitamin C serum
Vitamin C helps to prevent hyperpigmentation, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and assists with collagen production. Invest in a good quality Vitamin C serum and layer a few drops on your skin after cleansing and before moisturising for the best effect.

Our favourite Vitamin C serums include Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Ceramide Capsules, Drunk Elephant C-Firma Fresh Day Serum and the Mecca Cosmetica Skin Brightening Vitamin C Serum.

The bottom line
We all have our favourite go-to when it comes to beauty regimes for summer, but one thing is undeniably true – eating a balanced diet and getting your recommended 5 to 8 servings of fruit and vegetables every day will nourish your body from the inside out. There’s simply no better way to ensure that glowing radiant complexion this summer.

[1] Oral intake of soy isoflavone aglycone improves the aged skin of adult women - PubMed (nih.gov)

[2] Oral intake of soy isoflavone aglycone improves the aged skin of adult women - PubMed (nih.gov)

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