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

Letting go of our layers for summer can give our skin renewed attention.

Smooth, glowing skin is certainly the dream of sun-kissed highlights, but the condition isn’t always in our control.


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

Skin care and treatments are usually the first thing that comes to mind for most when looking to get a handle on our skin.

But according to Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at ethical nutrition 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 foods we eat provide our body with the necessary nutrients to promote collagen production, protect against breakouts, keep our skin hydrated, and prevent aging.”

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

It can “reduce the risk of premature aging, and leave us with a consistent radiant complexion”, explained the nutritionist.

If it’s just the ticket for summer, read on to find out exactly what foods to add to your diet if you’re looking to get healthy skin.

1. Kiwi fruit

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

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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 direct implications for our skin.”

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The gut is overflowing with microorganisms, which can affect your overall health as well as 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 nourishes the good bacteria in your gut, helping to nourish the gut and reduce inflammation throughout the body, including the skin.”

Fiber is also essential for healthy gut function and helps your bowels work properly – a process that helps remove toxins from the body.

“If the toxins are not removed properly they are pushed out through the skin, causing things like acne or greasy complexes,” said the nutrition expert.

You can pick up a six-pack of kiwis in Sainsbury’s for 99p – making them less than 17p a pop.

2. Berries and cherries

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

These red fruits are rich in a natural plant coloring agent called proanthocyanidin, which helps to express their dark color.

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

“Proanthocyanidins in particular help to protect the collagen in your skin, which helps to provide structure, strength and elasticity to your skin, reducing wrinkles and providing a general protective layer.”

The juicy red fruit can give your skin a hydration boost.

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

Fresh berries cost around £3 a pound on Ocado, but you can buy them frozen for much cheaper and, if not more, nutrition.

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

Tips to take care of your skin this summer

Here are five ways to make sure you’re looking after your skin this summer:

  1. Stay hydrated: Dehydrated skin can cause your skin to feel dry, dull, and scaly and our bodies lose a lot more water when it’s hot – drink plenty of water and use hydrating products
  2. Sun cream is essential: Harmful UV rays can damage your skin, causing sunburn, premature aging, and an increased risk of skin cancer so make sure you’re slathering on sunscreen, even when it doesn’t look sunny – remove always use SPF 30 or higher.
  3. Put your sunscreen back on: Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every two hours, especially if you’re swimming or sweating – 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 light clothing and stay out of the sun when it’s hot
  5. Pamper your skin: Take a cool shower to cool it off and remove any sweat and sun cream

Source: University of Rochester Medical Center

3. Chia, flax seeds and fish

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

“But the type of fat you eat in your diet will determine the type of fat incorporated in this film,” said Shona.

Foods like white fish, chia seeds, and avocados are great for your skin, as they are rich in Omega-3 – “a flexible fat that is used in skin cells to keep the skin healthy, moist, and less prone to it will split or collapse”, the nutritionist explained.

“Importantly, Omega-3 fats also help with the production of anti-inflammatory hormones in the body, which reduces any excess skin inflammation or facial redness,” she said.

Saturated fats, on the other hand, you may want to keep to a minimum if you’re looking for healthy skin.

Among these are fats found in butter, biscuits, palm oil and meat, which Shona referred to as “hard fats”.

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

You can buy a four-pack of 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

Loading up on fruit isn’t the only way to boost your skin either.

Vegetables – especially cruciferous ones – can also lend a helping hand.

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

“Alcohol puts incredible stress on the liver, causing a backlog of toxins in the body, which are later pushed out through the skin and lead to breakouts.

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

Frozen Brussels sprouts from Marks & Spencer cost £70 a bag, or fresh broccoli can be found 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 of how beneficial vitamin C can be for the skin – although it is often talked about in the form of serums and skin care ingredients.

Shona broke down why the ingredient is so important to a healthy glowing complexion and how to get it through food.

“In order 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,” explained the nutritionist.

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

“Supplements containing collagen are usually broken down into individual amino acids before they are of 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 boiled ligaments, muscles and bones of cows, or boiled scales and skin of fish.

“Try to incorporate lots of citrus fruits like oranges, red peppers, strawberries, or tomatoes into your diet if you’re trying to increase your Vitamin C count.”

A pack of five oranges costs 99p in Tesco, or tomatoes can be bought for as little as 75p in Asda.

But you should also make sure you are loading up on enough protein as well.

This means eating lean meats like beef and chicken, or lentils, beans, and tofu if you’re vegetarian or vegan.

You could also add a supplement like DR.VEGAN Skin Healer if he is struggling to get everything he needs for healthy skin through his diet, which also contains gut-friendly bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus with Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

How soon will I see changes in my skin?

Finally, Shona emphasized the need to exercise a little patience; You will not see the results of your diet changes right away.

“It’s important to remember that the outer layer of your skin cells renew themselves 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 for about four weeks,” she said.

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