Many classic activities during the summer include beaches, carnivals, island getaways, and other events under the sun. However this time spent outside greatly affects the condition of our skin. UV rays can cause sunburns and constant sweating dries skin. Sunscreen may prevent sunburns for some people but doesn’t stop the sweat. Lotion will only temporarily moisturize. This leads to a greater emphasis on diet to repair dry or damaged skin. The best foods to eat this summer are those high in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, vitamin A, selenium, zinc, and generally high in antioxidants.
Omega-3 fatty acids are healthy and essential for the body. Dr. Ann Yelmokas McDermott, a nutritionist at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, says they are responsible for the health of the cell membrane. This membrane not only prevents harmful things from getting into the cell but also lets in nutrients and lets out waste products. Omega-3 fatty acids aid the cell membrane in retaining what is necessary like water which softens dry skin. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include fish like salmon, avocados, and walnuts .
Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble vitamin that helps skin in retaining natural moisture and in bolstering defense against UV rays . The former is achieved through repair of the cell membrane so that water is retained . The latter is achieved by counteracting the oxidative stress or damage from free radicals caused by the sun rays . Some foods high in vitamin E are spinach, tofu, sunflower seeds, and other leafy greens.
Vitamin A, also known as beta-carotene, promotes growth and repair of body’s tissues. This heals damaged skin and helps retain water in cells similar to vitamin E. Vitamin A is also capable of protecting against sun damage . Foods that are high in vitamin A are sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots and others that have a bright yellow or orange color.
Selenium is a mineral that preserves the elasticity of skin tissue and other tissues. It can also slow down oxidative damage in the form of hardening tissues. To add to those benefits, selenium helps protect skin from sun damage, going as far as preventing skin cancer caused by sun exposure. It can also generally prevent other cancers of the body . Brazil nuts, oysters, whole wheat bread, meat and mushrooms are great foods high in this mineral.
Another essential mineral for skin is zinc which helps in protein formation and cell membrane formation. It is known to improve the healing of wounds and has anti-inflammatory effects, both of which are useful when the skin is sun burnt. Zinc can also protect against UV radiation and it maintains the level of collagen which keeps skin firm [1,6]. Several foods to add to your diet are dark chocolate, beans, and mushrooms.
Foods high in antioxidants will also leave your skin feeling great. Antioxidants are substances that delay or prevent different types of cell damage. The main type of damage that antioxidants delay or prevent is that of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals which are highly unstable molecules produced by our bodies during exercise and when food is changed into energy. These molecules lead to cell damage and even cell death. By counteracting this, antioxidants specifically help in maintaining the cell membrane of skin cells. The skin cells that are damaged due to the sun are also repaired faster, and healthy skin cells are maintained in top condition so that water loss and nutrient loss are minimal. The result is moisturized skin. Some antioxidants have been listed already like vitamin A, vitamin E, and selenium. Other examples of antioxidants are lutein and lycopene which can be found in dark leafy greens like kale and in fruits like tomatoes. Berries like strawberries or blueberries are excellent sources of antioxidants too and so is dark chocolate .
All the compounds listed here are safe, versatile, and healthy, providing your skin with the necessary nourishment it needs in order to maintain a smooth and moisturized look. You will also find that these compounds are found in Balanced Trio’s three daily formulas, simplifying diet management so that you have less stress in the planning of your meals.
 Foods That Improve Dry Skin. Popsugar. http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Foods-Help-Dry-Skin-892363
 Promotion of Plasma Membrane Repair by Vitamin E. Howard, Amber C. et al. Nat Comms Nature Communications 2 (2011): 597. Web.
 Ultraviolet Light-induced Oxidative Stress: Effects on Antioxidant Response of Helicoverpa Armigera Adults. Meng, Jian-Yu, Chang-Yu Zhang, Fen Zhu, Xiao-Ping Wang, and Chao-Liang Lei. Journal of Insect Physiology 55.6 (2009): 588-92. Web.
 Dietitians Dish: How to Feed Your Skin. Popsugar. http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Foods-Help-Your-Skin-18076021
 Minerals: Selenium. Healthy.Net. http://www.healthy.net/Health/Article/Selenium/2068/3
 Nutrition for Healthy Skin: Vitamin A, Zinc, Vitamin C. Chris Kresser. http://chriskresser.com/nutrition-for-healthy-skin-part-1/
 Antioxidants. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/antioxidants.html