The 5 best foods to eat this summer for healthy, glowing skin, even if you’re on a budget

Shedding our layers for summer can bring renewed attention to our skin.

Smooth, glowing skin is certainly the dream for when the sun comes out, but we can’t always control the state of our skin tone.


Nutritionist Shona Wilkinson shared foods to add to your plate this summer, including kiwis, cherries, avocados and broccoli

Skin care and treatments are often the first thing we think of when we’re trying to get a handle on our skin.

But according to Shona Wilkinson, chief nutritionist at ethical food and supplement brand DR.VEGAN, you can also give your skin a helping hand by focusing on what you eat.

“Many people underestimate the role your diet can play in maintaining healthy, glowing skin,” she told The Sun.

“The food we consume provides our bodies with the necessary nutrients to promote collagen production, protect against breakouts, keep our skin hydrated and prevent aging.”

In general, packing your diet with fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and healthy fats can prevent all kinds of problems with our skin, Shona said.

It can “reduce the risk of premature aging and give us a consistently radiant complexion,” the nutritionist explains.

If that sounds like just the ticket to summer, read on to find out exactly which foods you can add to your diet if you’re looking for healthy, glowing skin.

1. Kiwi fruit

First on Shona’s list of foods for glowing skin was the small but mighty kiwi.

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“Kiwis may be small, but they are a powerhouse when it comes to helping your skin,” she explained.

“Not only are they rich in vitamin C, which is essential for healthy collagen production, but they are also great for improving gut health, which has a direct impact on our skin.”

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Your intestines are full of microorganisms, which can have an impact on your overall health and on your skin.

Studies have shown that people with acne may have an imbalance in the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ bacteria in their gut.

According to Shona, “Kiwis contain a type of fiber that feeds the good bacteria in your gut, keeping the gut nourished and reducing inflammation throughout the body, including the skin.”

Fiber is also essential for the healthy functioning of your intestines and helps your intestines work properly – a process that helps remove toxins from the body.

“If these toxins are not properly removed, they are pushed out through the skin, causing acne or oily skin, among other things,” says the nutritionist.

You can buy a six-pack of kiwifruit at Sainsbury’s for just 99p, which works out to less than 17p each.

2. Berries and cherries

Speaking of fruits, Shona suggested adding berries and cherries to your bowl for healthy skin.

These red fruits are both rich in a natural plant dye called proanthocyanidin, which helps impart their dark color.

“Proanthocyanidins are powerful natural antioxidants, meaning they protect the skin from harmful oxidants from the sun, pollution and poor diet choices,” explains Shona.

“Proanthocyanidins especially help protect the collagen in your skin, which helps give your skin structure, strength and elasticity, reduces wrinkles and provides an overall layer of protection.”

The juicy red fruits can also give your skin a hydration boost.

According to Shona, this is “essential to retain moisture in our skin and allow us to remove toxins from the body through urine.”

Fresh berries cost around £3 per punnet from Ocado, but it can be significantly cheaper to buy them frozen and just as, if not more, nutritious.

A giant 500g bag from Asda can be picked up for £2.25.

Tips to care for your skin this summer

HERE are five ways to ensure you take care of your skin during the summer:

  1. Stay hydrated: Dehydrated skin can make your skin look dry, dull and flaky and our bodies lose a lot more water when it’s hot. Drink plenty of water and use moisturizing products.
  2. Sunscreen is a must: Harmful UV rays can damage your skin and cause sunburn, premature aging and an increased risk of skin cancer, so make sure you apply sunscreen even when it doesn’t look sunny – always use SPF 30 or higher
  3. Reapply your sunscreen: Remember to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you swim or sweat. You can even try a powder or compact formula if you don’t want to keep applying liquid.
  4. Protect your skin in other ways: Wear a wide-brimmed hat, cover your skin with lightweight clothing, and stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest
  5. Pamper your skin: Take a cool shower to soften the skin and remove any sweat and sunscreen

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center

3. Chia, flaxseed and fish

Not all fats are bad for you. In fact, your skin cell membrane is rich in fat.

“But the type of fat you consume in your diet will determine which type of fat is absorbed into this membrane,” Shona said.

Foods like white fish, chia seeds and avocados are fantastic for your skin because they are rich in Omega-3 – “a flexible fat used in skin cells to keep skin healthy, hydrated and less likely to crack or flake” , the nutritionist explained.

“Importantly, omega-3 fats also help produce anti-inflammatory hormones in the body, reducing excess skin inflammation or facial redness,” she added.

On the other hand, you can keep saturated fats to a minimum if you aim for healthy skin.

These include the fats in butter, cookies and palm oil and meat, which Shona called “hard fats.”

“When hard fats are absorbed into the skin cell membrane, the skin becomes less flexible and more likely to crack,” she warned.

You can buy a pack of four avocados in Asda for £140, or try chia seeds from Holland & Barrett for £2.99. These should last a while!

4. Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens

Eating fruit isn’t the only way to boost your skin.

Vegetables, especially crucifers, can also provide a helping hand.

Shona said: “Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli and mustard greens are rich in isothiocyanates, which support the function of the liver by protecting it from damage from toxins, especially alcohol.

“Alcohol puts enormous pressure on the liver, causing a shortage of toxins in the body, which are later pushed out through the skin and result in the breakout of pimples.

“Research shows that reducing alcohol intake and increasing consumption of cruciferous vegetables can help your liver function properly and clear your skin of toxins.”

Frozen Brussels sprouts from Marks & Spencer cost £70 a bag, or you can find fresh broccoli in Morrisons for 79p.

Eating avocado is great for your skin, experts say


Eating avocado is great for your skin, experts sayCredit: Getty

5. Oranges, red peppers and strawberries

Most of us will have heard how beneficial vitamin C can be for the skin, even though it is often talked about in the form of serums and skincare ingredients.

Shona explained why the ingredient is so important for radiant, healthy skin and how you can get it through your diet.

“To produce all the collagen your skin needs to keep you glowing every day, the body needs a significant amount of vitamin C and protein,” the nutritionist explained.

“This is because vitamin C is used in a process called hydroxylation, which converts proteins into collagen.

“Supplements containing collagen are usually broken down into their individual amino acids before they have any benefit to the body, so not only are they generally ineffective, but without vitamin C they are essentially expensive protein supplements.

“Most people also don’t realize that collagen supplements are often made from cooked ligaments, muscle and bones from cows, or cooked scales and skin from fish.

“Try to include plenty of citrus fruits such as oranges, red peppers, strawberries or tomatoes in your diet if you want to boost your vitamin C levels.”

A pack of oranges costs 99p in Tesco, but you can buy tomatoes for just 75p in Asda.

But you also have to make sure you get enough protein.

This means eating lean meats such as beef and chicken, or lentils, beans and tofu if you are vegetarian or vegan.

You can also add a supplement like DR.VEGAN’s Skin Savior if you’re struggling to get everything you need for healthy skin in your diet, which contains gut-friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus, as well as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

How quickly will I see changes in my skin?

Finally, Shona emphasized the need to exercise a little patience; you won’t see the results of your diet changes right away.

“It’s important to remember that the outer layer of your skin cells renews itself every 28 to 31 days, so if you make positive changes to your diet for better skin, you may not see the benefit on your skin until four weeks later.” she said.

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